Manchester City’s very own ‘Class of ’92’ will have to fight back from two goals down to Chelsea after the first leg of the FA Youth Cup final.
Jason Wilcox’s side, without lynch pin Thierry Ambrose, went behind inside the first ten minutes to a cracking strike from Tammy Abraham, only for Isaac Buckley to capitalise on a Brandon Barker through ball just two minutes later.
However, a dominant Chelsea side retook the lead before half-time, and a late mistake from Bersant Celina gave Dom Solanke the chance to give the away side a commanding lead.
Wilcox, released by Man City as a youngster, picked six Mancunians in his starting line-up, having talked before the game about his desire to create a dynasty to rival City’s Manchester compatriots.
“Our job is to recruit local lads,” said Wilcox. “If we can get a group of Manchester-born lads into the first team then that’s the ideal scenario. To do that is going to be really difficult but that’s the challenge.
“Class of 92 could happen again, but they were freak years. You look at United as a one-off, Barcelona the same.
“We don’t want local lads playing for Tottenham, Arsenal or Chelsea.
“It’s up to us to make sure that, via the scouting, we have at least the opportunity of showing them our programme. I’m convinced once they see us it’s very difficult to walk away from.”
The club certainly seems to be right behind the project, as the first leg was held in the Academy Stadium, part of the £200m City Football Academy, and was filled with more than 6,000 fans.
Having beaten Leicester in the semi-finals, City came into the game knowing that the last time they lifted the trophy, back in 2008, they were also facing Chelsea, with Daniel Sturridge on the score-sheet for the Cityzens.
However, the Sky Blues will travel to Stamford Bridge looking to beat the UEFA Youth League champions by two goals if they are to lift the trophy for a third time.
Main image courtesy of MCFC via YouTube, with thanks.