Kambi (39), Ramos (50)
- Match reports
- 23 July 2011 21:19
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
A young City side lost to Espanyol on Saturday evening but gained some valuable European experience ahead of the start of the NextGen League.
Goals either side of the break gave the hosts the win in Barcelona, with Pablo Zabaleta taking time off from a well-earned break to check out the talent coming through at both his former and current clubs. City’s best chances came from Devante Cole and Ahmad Benali.
Loris Karius, on as a second half substitute, did well to keep out a penalty in the 73rd minute and coach Andy Welsh rang the changes to give most of the squad a chance to impress with competition hotting up as the season approaches.
Andy told mcfc.co.uk, "It was a tough game, but we wanted a test for the lads and to make it feel like a proper European tie. Espanyol fielded two completely different sides with much older players, but we did not mind that, and our lads competed excellently with them.
"Kieran Tripper was outstanding again, as was Karim Rekik. We had four 16-year-olds on the pitch for the last 30 minutes or so, and as a unit there is a lot we can take from this.
"It was great to see Zaba as well, he needs a break after the Copa America but it was a nice touch of him to come along and see us."
Next up is a visit to the Netherlands and a fixture against Nijmegan next Friday.