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Manchester City win U18 Premier League North title

[Credit: Manchester City]

Manchester City have been crowned U18 Premier League North champions for the third time in as many years after beating Sunderland 4-2 at the Academy Stadium.

Ben Wilkinson’s side will now face West Ham United, who confirmed themselves as southern champions last weekend, in the play-off fixture for the chance to retain their U18 Premier League national title.

Nico O’Reilly opened the scoring before Justin Oboavwoduo and Isaiah Dada-Mascoll quickly added to the tally as City raced into a 3-0 lead inside the opening 25 minutes.

Jake Waters scored a brace either of a Joel Ndala stunner to close the deficit for Sunderland but it proved not to be enough as the Citizens held on to claim the three points and the title.

City took the lead in the 11th minute when Jacob Wright curled in a cross to the back post and O’Reilly rose highest to head home for his tenth league goal of the season.

The Citizens doubled their lead five minutes later when Joel Ndala drove down the left and pulled back to the edge of the box for Oboavwoduo who nutmegged the defender in his way and fired an effort into the far corner.

The home side made it three in the 24th minute when Ashton Muir and Oboavwoduo combined down the right with the latter pulling the ball back to Dada-Mascoll who drilled in a first-time effort from the edge of the box.

Sunderland pulled a goal back just two minutes later when Tom Watson broke down the left and crossed the ball towards the back post where Waters volleyed home to spark comeback hopes.

City restored their three-goal lead in the 38th minute when Ndala checked back on the corner of the box and curled a stunning effort into the top corner for his 16th goal of the season in all competitions.

Sunderland pulled another goal back in the 60th minute in a very similar manner to their first. This time Watson broke down the right and crossed for Waters who finished at the back post again.

Despite pressure from the Black Cats, City saw out the victory to win their third consecutive U18 Premier League North title. They need to wait until after their fixture at Derby County next week to lift the trophy however.

Sunderland’s dreams of a fairy-tale title are over but Adam Asghar’s side have still had a season to remember as they look to round off on a high next weekend against Manchester United.

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