In what was a replica of the contest between the two best sides at the apex of English football at the moment, Liverpool and Manchester City locked horns in the FA Cup final at youth level. As has become customary with the two teams at senior level, Manchester City dominated the ball playing out from the back while Liverpool pressed high up the pitch. With City boss Pep Guardiola in attendance, it was understandable how much his style and philosophy is taking root in the City system.
The young Sky Blues had the better of the Reds’ youth early on as a goal from young striker Nabil Touaizi gave City the lead on the stroke of half time. The 18-year-old Spanish forward, who joined City’s youth from Valencia in 2017 has netted 11 times for the team in 23 outings across all competitions. His goal seemed enough to settle the contest until an error from City goalkeeper Louie Moulden late in the game allowed Bobby Duncan’s strike to find the net as the ball slipped through the young goalkeeper’s fingers.
Ironically, 17-year-old Duncan (who is a cousin to Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard) left City in the summer to join Liverpool after spending seven years at the City academy. He has been in tremendous goal scoring form for the Reds netting 24 times in 33 games with additional seven assists.
His goal forced the game to extra time after which both sides could not be separated. That resulted in a penalty shootout to decide the winner. City’s second penalty by Cole Palmer hit the crossbar as Liverpool players all scored, Paul Glatzel driving home the decisive one to secure a 5-3 win.
The victory makes Liverpool youth four-time winners of the prestigious competition while the young Sky Blues have won it two times, the last coming in 2008. Hoping for a better outing next time, boys!