Patrick Vieira's talented youngsters got off to the best possible start, with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Juventus in their opening fixture from this season's UEFA Youth League competition. It's sure to give the Manchester City talents plenty of confidence, that they can actually better their previous results in past campaigns in the tournament itself, especially having come back from a goal behind to prevail in-front of their fans at the City Academy Stadium.
Juve took the lead after just nine minutes, with a deft chip by Andrea Favilli nestling into the net - after a poor attempt at a sliding clearance away to safety by City goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw was capitalized to deadly effect.
From then on, Juventus went on a downward spiral
Fabio Grosso's side were down to ten men shortly after Favilli's opener though, which changed the whole complexion of the game itself. Defender Giulio Parodi trudged off the pitch in disappointment after being given his marching orders by referee Andrew Dallas, after a late sliding tackle to halt the run of Aaron Nemane towards the area.
Soon afterwards, the scores were level. Some promising play down the flank by Patrick Roberts allowed the former Fulham winger to accelerate forward towards the byline, and his cut-back in the area was tapped into an empty net by Nemane, who simply couldn't miss from close-range, with the 'keeper in no man's land at the near post.
Roberts the creative hub within the team
Roberts was at the forefront of City attacks as they went in search of another goal, but a smart stop by Del Favero made sure Manuel García's effort inside the box stung his gloves as he parried the ball to safety, after another probing run forward by Roberts.
The half-time interval meant the two sides were level at the break, and probably shouldn't have been. As the second-half started though, things went from bad to worse for the visitors - with Francesco Cassata getting his second yellow card of the match after a needless challenge on Roberts past the centre-circle.
A brilliant moment of magic
Roberts went from creator to finisher, as he produced a brilliant piece of skill to shake off his marker before skipping past three defenders with seeming ease, and cooly slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net as he advanced into the area. Quite frankly, there was nothing that Del Favero could have done to stop the effort, which was certainly one for the highlight reel from the 18-year-old.
As the game went on, Juve managed to do their best in order to stay in the match as a contest - but City were dominant and in possession, looked assured with a two-man advantage in their favour. It was only a matter of time before mistakes started to creep in from the visitors, and some rather questionable defending allowed City to turn the screw, scoring their third and fourth goals in a matter of minutes before the full-time whistle blew.
Juventus made a mess of an attempted clearance, having had plenty of time and space to hoof the ball to safety. The ball fell kindly for substitute winger Will Patching, who curled a swerving effort into the far corner of the net - giving Del Favero no chance as he scrambled to try and make a fantastic save.
Then, in the dying seconds of stoppage time, City scored their fourth. Roberts went on another slaloming run down the byline, before his pass into the area fell nicely for another substitute, in the form of Lukas Nmecha. He simply couldn't miss, and slid in to tap home and add icing on the cake, in a rather impressive win for the Young Blues.
Up next, Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach in a fortnight.