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29 February 2016

Young Canaries beaten in Manchester

NORWICH City Under-18s left the FA Youth Cup at the quarter-final stage after a 2-0 defeat at Manchester City's Academy Stadium on Monday evening.

Graeme Murty's young Canaries matched their opponents for long periods of the game, but strikes from Brahim Diaz and Manuel Garcia saw their run in this year's competition come to an end.

The visitors had to be alert as early as the opening minute, with Aston Oxborough producing a fine save to deny Isaac Buckley-Ricketts after the winger was put through on goal by Lukas Nmecha.

City quickly responded when defender Louis Ramsay won two corners in succession; the second culminating in Timi Odusina heading Louis McIntosh's dinked cross just over the crossbar.

After seeing an effort from Nmecha ruled out for handball, the hosts went in front on 16 minutes Diaz expertly controlled a high pass before moving into the box and slotting under Oxborough.

Buckley-Ricketts soon went close to a second for the home side, but fired wide across the face of goal having broken into space down the right flank.

Despite the frequent danger posed by Diaz in particular, Murty's side stifled their opponents well to restrict Man City's progress as the game passed the half-hour mark.

They also managed to create chances of their own, with Jamal Lewis producing some neat trickery on the edge of the box before curling wide on 35 minutes.

The winger went close again moments later, robbing his man and skipping across the pitch at pace ahead of firing over on the run.

City continued to make the majority of the opportunities as the interval neared, and could consider themselves unfortunate to still be behind when the half-time whistle eventually sounded.

Having ending the first period strongly, the Canaries picked up where the left off at the resumption of play by quickly looking to get themselves onto the front foot once more.

Lewis' pace on the right was causing constant problems, with the away side continuing to push their opponents deeper as they impressively claimed control of the midfield.

Just past the hour-mark Glenn Middleton felt he had claims for a penalty after going to ground in the box, but saw his appeals waved away as City maintained their goal threat.

Man City did just enough to weather the storm though, and ultimately doubled their lead on 72 minutes when Garcia struck home fiercely from outside the box with a rasping finish.

The goal was harsh on a City side who had battled determinedly, with Devonte Aransibia and George Couzens introduced off the bench in place of McIntosh and Middleton soon after.

Those changes almost reaped immediate dividends, but Benny Ashley-Seal saw his deflected effort tipped over by goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw after barging his way into the box.

It wasn't to be however, with Norwich's youngsters now left to focus on the remainder of their Barclays Under-18s Premier League campaign, starting with a trip to Newcastle United this weekend.

FULL-TIME: Manchester City 2-0 Norwich City

Citizens: Diaz (16), Garcia (72)

: Oxborough; Ramsay, Crowe (c), Odusina, Syme; Pollock, Godfrey (Kamal, 88); Lewis, McIntosh (Aransibia, 76), Middleton (Couzens, 76); Ashley-Seal. Subs not used: Beauchamp (GK), Wallis.

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