Manchester City U18 v Blackburn Rovers U18

11am  21 November 2015

Under 18 Premier League
Manchester City U18 2 Blackburn Rovers U18 2 (att 100)

The focal point of City's impressive academy, just across the road from the Etihad Stadium, is a mini stadium used mainly by the club's women's and "elite development" (aka reserve) sides.

But there's also more than a dozen additional pitches, most with small seated stands for spectators, and the club's under 18 side played this game on pitch number eight, a short walk from the main academy building.

Unlike some clubs, spectators are able to watch youth team games at City, although the process of signing in, and having to wear visible id, made me feel more like a prison visitor than a fan watching a game of football.

Youth team matches at this level can be sterile affairs, but this game was rather scrappy, in a good way though as it felt more like a proper game, with players striving to win rather than impressing the coaches by not giving the ball away.

Blackburn impressed me, and deserved their 2-1 half time lead after coming from behind. City's opening goal had been against the run of play, but it took an error by the home keeper for Rovers to go in front.

They looked like maintaining their advantage during a lively second half, but City's pressure eventually paid off with a late equaliser.

The City Football Academy isn't yet shown on Google Maps, but click here for a link to its location

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