Visitors too strong as Fofana brace helps them to victoryNORWICH City's Under-21s suffered a comprehensive defeat at the hands of an impressive Manchester City side on Friday evening, going down 3-0 at Carrow Road.
The Canaries never really got going in the contest, with Jordy Hiwula's goal sandwiched between a Seko Fofana brace proving more than enough for the visitors in this U21s Premier League encounter.
With both Josh & Jacob Murphy having travelled with the first-team to Manchester, Reece Hall-Johnson was afforded a start on the wing while Carlton Morris started up front.
New coach Mark Robson watched on from the stands on his first day of work at the Club.
The visitors, who started the night rooted to the bottom of the Under-21s Premier League, began on the front foot, and after Fofana tried his luck from 30 yards, he gave them the lead on 17 minutes.
Adel Gafaiti’s clearance was intercepted by Sinan Bytyqi, and the right midfielder played in Fofana, who finished tidily past Remi Matthews.
Norwich’s first opportunity came when Rod Young’s flick from Reece Hall-Johnson set-piece almost sneaked under Ian Lawlor’s crossbar, but the visiting ‘keeper held on.
Manchester City continued to be the more comfortable side but after Albert Rusnak blazed over from the edge of the box, Cameron Norman went close for the Canaries a minute before the break.
The right midfielder burst from deep and as the space opened up for him, drove a shot that just drifted wide of the far post.
HALF-TIME: Norwich City 0-1 Manchester City
12 minutes into the second half, City doubled their lead through substitute Hiwula in fortunate circumstances.
Greg Leigh’s pace took him past Ewan McNeil down the left, and even though his cross the near-post was accurate, Hiwula didn’t know too much about it as the ball ricocheted off his knee and past Matthews.
Norwich should have pulled one back on 64 – Harry Toffolo’s cross from the left was pushed out by Lawlor into the path of Hall-Johnson, but he somehow managed to shoot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Hall-Johnson then shot wide before Rod Young showed a lack of composure by mishitting his volley when put through down the right – but at least the Canaries were endeavouring to get back in the contest.
Chances for Hiwula and Bytyqi showed Manchester City weren’t resting on their laurels, but with ten minutes to go it appeared they were going to see out the victory comfortably.
Indeed, they made sure of the three points with five minutes left on the clock – George Glendon’s through ball was perfect for Fofana, and the midfielder’s step-over tricked Matthews and enabled him to tap home into an empty net.
There was still time for Young to have an effort tipped onto the post by Lawlor after a determined run, Harvey Hodd to drill a volley just over and Ben Wyatt to test Lawlor, but their efforts were in vain as Manchester City took a deserved three points.
FULL-TIME: Norwich City 0-3 Manchester City
GOALS: Manchester City: Seko Fofana (17, 85), Jordy Hiwula (57)
NORWICH CITY: Matthews; McNeil, McFadden, Gafaiti, Toffolo; Norman (Wyatt 74), McGeehan (c) (King 70), Hodd, Hall-Johnson; Young; Morris. Subs not used: Barker, Killip (GK).
MANCHESTER CITY: Lawlor; Drury, Facey (c), Denayer, Leigh; Bytyqi, Fofana, Huws, Cole (Pozo 43); Rusnak (Glendon 76); Guidetti (Hiwula 51). Subs not used: Plummer, O’Brien (GK).