Bytyqi 9mins, Lopes 31mins, 63mins, Cole 54mins
- Match reports
- 17 September 2013 12:58
- Posted by @mccarthy_mcfc
Patrick Vieira’s EDS side got their UEFA Youth League campaign off to a dream start with a comfortable 4-1 win over Viktoria Plzen.
Goals from Sinan Bytiqi and Devante Cole and a brace from captain Marcos Lopes saw the Blues breeze past the Czech opposition in what was the first game of the new competition.
With City’s CEO Ferran Soriano and Director of Football Txiki Begiristain watching on from the stands, there was an extra incentive for the young Blues to impress, and they did just that.
The team oozed energy from kick-off and Vieira’s young charges didn’t take long to take control of the game, immediately pressing in and around the opposition’s box.
It came as no surprise when City took the lead after just ten minutes, with Bytyqi scoring a beautifully placed free-kick from the edge of the box after a foul on George Glendon.
The goal seemed to add more fuel to the Blues’ fire as they continued to pin back Plzen’s defence, but credit to the hosts who didn’t lie down, calling Angus Gunn into action on a couple of occasions.
The pressure applied by City eventually paid off though when Captain Marcos Lopes capitalised on a loose ball on the box to double the advantage on the half hour mark.
Indeed, it could have been three moments later, when the Portuguese youth international connected with a Glendon cross, but his header brushed narrowly wide of the post.
Plzen enjoyed a bright spell at the start of the second period and were rewarded with a goal six minutes in - Milos Kratochvil heading home from close range after connecting with a Ondrej Ruml free-kick.
The Blues seemed to have an answer for everything though and responded immediately. Devante Cole and George Glendon linked up well down the right with the frontman Cole going on to beat the keeper and bagging his first goal of the season.
Cole could have gone on to score a couple more, showing off some neat footwork in the box, but the Plzen keeper was equal to the striker’s efforts.
It would be the hugely impressive Lopes who was to find a second - and City’s fourth - showing great composure in front of goal to round the keeper and slot home after being played in by Jack Byrne on 63 minutes.
Despite the score line, to their credit the hosts refused to surrender and continued to test the Blues defence, making this a thoroughly entertaining game.
Plzen’s Ondrej Ruml looked particularly lively as the match entered its final stages and was unfortunate not to find a way through the solid City defence.
City weren’t finished trying either though and Seko Fofana almost got himself on the score sheet in stylish fashion after some neat interplay with Ashley-Smith Brown down the right, the midfielder’s fancy back heel drifting just narrowly wide.
The midfielder’s effort was a fitting end to what was a classy display from Vieira’s side and a incredibly positive start to their European quest.