Monday’s meeting between Manchester City and Manchester United development squads bodes well for the Sky Blue system. Quickness and aggressiveness were present in abundance and it must be a pleasure to the organization as the senior squad seeks to do better in the “final action” (4:42).
Key players such as Brahim Diaz, Angus Gunn, and Tosin Adarabioyo were in action against the cross-town rivals with Diaz playing a major role down the right wing. His work on the ball, along with Paolo Fernandes and other advanced players, showed clear inspiration and agility.
In addition to excellent drives at United, the squad supported each other well. Diaz scored off a cut back from a slick run by Fernandes early in the second half. Isaac Buckley-Ricketts helped City regain the lead from a rebounded Diaz shot after a 10-man United strung together a quick team goal. The game was sealed when Fernandes stripped the ball from a Red Devil defender at the edge of the box to send a rocket into the far side of the net.
Diaz, Adarabioyo, and Gunn have made minor appearances with the senior squad since Guardiola’s arrival but the youth side has the general character that the first team manager seeks.
Guardiola has been known for his bottom approach to squad development. In the future, Pablo Maffeo could serve as a viable full back option but is currently on loan to Girona. Whether anyone from the City EDS will be a benefit to efforts in the top flight this season is yet to be seen. In the long term, their approach as individuals and as a unit would be welcome at the Etihad.