Manchester City U21 v Leicester City U21

7pm  2 February 2015
Premier League International Cup, Group C
Manchester City U21 2 Leicester City U21 3 (att 400)

Whenever I'm asked who I support I always claim allegiance to Leicester City. I was born there, and although we moved to London before I was out of nappies, it was enough to give me an extra interest in this game.

Without that, it could have been a bit of a dud. Both sides had already qualified from the group stage of this low-key competition, having seen off Benfica and Schalke, so this match would decide who topped the group.

It didn't look likely to be Leicester after 20 minutes, when the home side's quick movement and quick thinking saw them race into a 2-0 lead. But Leicester are made of sterner stuff, at under 21 level at least, and pulled a goal back before half time.

After the break Manchester City looked clueless at the back and were out-battled by Leicester's more robust approach. Two quick goals put "my" team ahead, and they held out for a win that few Leicester fans will probably even be aware of.

Of course the main attraction for me, beyond the chance to watch Leicester's youngsters, was a visit to a new ground. The City Academy Stadium, is the dominant feature of Manchester City's new Etihad Campus, just across the road from the Etihad Stadium.

It holds around 7,000, with two seated stands and two terraced ends. Just one stand was open tonight, and it's difficult to imagine the ground being full very often. The complex also houses a number of other pitches, each enclosed and with stands containing a few dozen seats, as well as offices and hotel accommodation.

Full marks to Manchester City for their match-day organisation. Parking was plentiful and free, next to the main Etihad Stadium, from where it's a short walk across a newly-installed bridge to the Campus.

Tickets were just £3, teamsheets were freely available, and friendly stewards had no objections to taking a few photographs or even standing up, unobtrusively, at the back of the stand. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable evening out, made even better by the result,










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