Newcastle United 2
Richardson 16mins & 46mins
Bytyqi mins 49mins, Hiwula 52mins, Lopes 62mins
- Match reports
- 21 February 2014 15:37
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
City EDS are through to the last four of the Barclays u21 Premier League Cup after producing a stunning second half comeback to dump out Newcastle United.
The Blues were facing cup elimination when Michael Richardson scored his second goal 60 seconds into the second half but three goals from Sinan Bytyqi, Jordi Hiwula and Marcos Lopes in 15 thrilling second half minutes completed a dramatic turnaround.
It was City’s 12th consecutive win at under-21 level.
Newcastle’s training ground played host to this quarter final cup clash on a dry but blustery afternoon on Tyneside.
Patrick Vieira’s men booked their place in the quarter final of the tournament with their 2-0 win over West Brom back in December.
Before that, the Blues saw off Stoke City after extra-time, while Newcastle have beaten Leicester to reach the last eight after being given a bye through to the last 16.
Continuity had been key to the remarkable winning run the team had enjoyed, so it was no surprise that Vieira named an unchanged XI from the one that beat Stoke City last time out for their 11th successive victory in all competitions.
After a patient opening which saw City show commitment to their patient, measured build-up play, the Blues managed to assert themselves as a domineering force in the game.
They should have had a goal to show for this confident start after 11 minutes but Hiwula’s sliding finish somehow ended up in the sidenetting after Drury did well to overlap and cut back.
On their next attack, City nearly scored again and Drury was once again the source.
"This time the right-back picked out Lopes but the Newcastle goalkeeper got down well to palm his sidefooted strike away from danger."
...Newcastle v City EDS...
However, it was the Magpies who got their noses in front on 16 minutes, when Michael Richardson raced onto a lofted through ball which City failed to cut out and lifted the ball over the onrushing Lawlor into the empty net.
City responded well and almost had an equaliser courtesy of Lopes but his shot from 25 yards was deflected a foot past the post with Alnwick in the Newcastle goal beaten – however, for the remainder of the half, it appeared as if the hosts had drawn the sting from their in-form visitors.
Lopes, Hiwula, Drury and Denayer all had half chances for equalisers but there always seemed to be a black and white striped shirt on hand to force a deflection or to narrow the angle to aid their goalkeeper.
It was a frustrating half in front of goal, with the visitors seemingly unable to convert their domination into notches on the scoresheet – a more clinical eye would be needed after the break but unfortunately, it was Newcastle who found it, taking a two-goal lead a minute into the second period.
It was Richardson again who found the back of the net, this time slamming home from a Rolando Aarons cross with an instinctive volley.
"Just as City were facing the exit door of the Premier League Cup came a moment of individual brilliance which seemed to turn the tide for the away side, just two minutes after Richardson’s goal."
...Newcastle v City EDS...
Bytyqi freed himself from his marker, cut inside from the right and curled an unstoppable left-footed shot into the top corner of Alnwick’s net.
Inspired by this majestic strike, the Blues equalised on their next attack – Hiwula made an intelligent run to lose his man in the middle and Cole’s cross from the left was made to measure for the team’s top-scorer to slide in, in typically predatory style.
The turnaround was complete just after the hour mark when Lopes cracked a drive from 25 yards which caught a nick off a defender’s boot before finding the same top corner Bytyqi found just over 15 minutes earlier.
Vieira’s side played out time with relative comfort, with just one good one-on-one save from Lawlor needed to protect their slender advantage.
Exeter City or Burnley await in the semi-finals.