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UEFA Youth League: Manchester City dominate Red Star Belgrade in second half goal fest

Emilio Lawrence [Credit: Manchester City]

Manchester City 5 – 2 Red Star Belgrade

Manchester City started their UEFA Youth League campaign in style following frantic second half goal fest with a win over Red Star Belgrade.

Red Star tried a comeback effort which was eventually subdued by substitute Jaden Heskey’s 81st minute finish.

City only made it as far as the round of 16 in last years competition where they fell to defeat against Hajduk Split, eventual finalists.

The visitors lost out to AZ Alkmaar on penalties last season who went on to be crowned UEFA Youth League champions.

Farid Alfa-Ruprecht was denied early on following a darting run down the right-hand side, but Stefan Marinković flew off his line to prevent the wingers attempt on goal.

After 15 minutes, Jovan Mijatović had the visitor’s first shot of the game, but the striker couldn’t quite find the target as his effort went wide of the near post.

Mijatović was at the forefront of the action once again a quarter of an hour later as he struck a low shot at goal, but it was comfortably gathered by True Grant.

Two minutes before half time, Kane Taylor played a defence splitting pass which found Emilio Lawrence who stayed composed and slotted home to put City ahead.

Just after half time Lawrence struck again, he cut inside onto his favoured right foot and curled his effort into the far corner to give his side a two-goal cushion.

Three minutes later the blues continued their assault as Will Dickson netted his fourth goal of the season following an excellent turn and finish on his left foot.

Taylor added to Red Star’s misery as his in-swinging corner ran all the way through and in off Marinković to put them four goals to the good.

Mijatović responded for the Serbian side as his left footed deflected shot got the better of Grant after 55 minutes to continue a hectic start to the second half.

In the 78th minute Red Star added another goal through Mateja Bubanj who fired the rebound in from close range to cut the host’s lead to two.

However, three minutes later following some tricky wide play Lawrence teed up substitute Jaden Heskey who finished past Marinković to restore a three-goal deficit.

Next up for Manchester City in the UYL is a trip to Germany where they will face RB Leipzig while Red Star will host the Swiss side BSC Young Boys.

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