Match Reports

U23 Report: Albion 5 Manchester City 0

By Kieran Cleeves • 31 August 2018

  • Albion record an excellent 5-0 victory over Manchester City
  • Viktor Gyokeres (pen) and Haydon Roberts open the scoring
  • Aaron Connolly adds a brace in the second half
  • James Tilley fires home in the closing stages

Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s produced an exceptional performance against league-leading Manchester City to seal a 5-0 victory and continue their unbeaten start to the season at the Broadfield Stadium.

Viktor Gyokeres opened the scoring from the penalty spot, Haydon Roberts then headed a second, Aaron Connolly added a brace after the break and James Tilley rounded off an outstanding display in the closing stages.

The visitors enjoyed the greater share of possession inside the opening minutes, and there were clear indications that Albion would look to capitalise on City’s rare mistakes with Connolly’s pace in-behind.

But the league leaders were the first to create an effort on goal, as Taylor Richards found space inside the penalty area and drilled towards goal - but Hugo Keto was there to make a comfortable stop.

Mathias Normann then lifted a clever pass into Connolly, and the Irishman took the ball first time with an ambitious scissor-kick, but his effort from just inside the box dropped wide of the target.

Albion strung together an eye-catching move when Will Collar held up the ball and found Connolly’s intelligent run. The forward crossed for Anders Dreyer, who then set back for Tilley, but the winger’s close-range effort was blocked.

The Seagulls worked a brilliant move just before the half-hour mark, as they shifted the ball from left to right and got in behind City’s defence - Dreyer skipped past his marker and was taken down inside the penalty area.

The referee pointed to the spot and Viktor Gyokeres took responsibility from 12 yards, as he confidently dispatched into the bottom corner to give Albion the lead against the Premier League 2 front runners.

Albion continued to apply pressure and Normann volleyed narrowly wide of the target from 25 yards, but with 42 minutes on the clock, the Seagulls doubled their lead and it was a proud moment for Haydon Roberts.

The 16-year-old defender arrived in perfect time to power home a cross from Dreyer, and the youngster’s bullet header was everything Albion deserved for their excellent first-half display.

Albion returned for the second half and there was little in terms of goalmouth action, however a seven-minute spell saw four yellow cards as the contest began to heat up in the middle third of the pitch.

Gyokeres found his way out of City pressure shortly after the hour mark to deliver a low cross for Connolly, but the Swede’s pass just got away from the forward, who slid for the ball inside the box.

But Connolly soon got the reward for his tireless runs in-behind City’s defence, as Dreyer picked out the Irishman with a fine pass, which allowed the striker to compose himself and roll the ball into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

The Seagulls put themselves further in front in the 82nd minute and it was a simply outstanding team move that led to Connolly’s second of the evening, as the Irishman exchanged passes with Normann before drilling past Anderson.

There was still time for a fifth goal in the 90th minute, as James Tilley squeezed the ball in at the near post, following a scramble inside the box - and that rounded off a stunning evening for the Seagulls, as they claimed their first victory of the season.

ALBION: Keto; A.Davies, Barclay, Roberts, Cochrane; Collar (J.Davies 60), Normann (Mandroiu 85); Dreyer, Gyokeres (Ljubicic 86), Tilley; Connolly.

Subs not used: Collings (GK), Kerr.

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