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FA Youth Cup Final: Manchester City crowned champions after beating Leeds United in dominant showing at the Etihad Stadium

Manchester City U18 4 – 0 Leeds United U18

[Credit: Man City]

Manchester, England – Manchester City dominated Leeds United at the Etihad Stadium as an electric second half helped crown Ben Wilkinson’s side as FA Youth Cup champions.

The first half saw little action with half chances at both ends, but City came out for the second half on fire as they took the lead almost instantaneously through Justin Oboavwoduo.

This opened the floodgates as goals from Jayden Heskey, Stephen Mfuni and substitute Matty Warhurst followed as City claimed their fourth FAYC title.

Leeds fought until the final whistle in front of a packed out away end, who give their side vital support in the biggest game on the youth football calendar.

City controlled possession in the opening stages and looked to take advantage of their quality out wide through Joel Ndala and Farid Alfa-Ruprecht.

After 11 minutes, Oboavwoduo charged forward and found Ndala on the left, who drove at the Leeds full back only to fire his shot into the side netting.

The Manchester City fans thought their side had found the lead as Alfa-Ruprecht’s near post strike hit the back of the net in the 24th minute, but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

With ten minutes until the interval, Leeds had their best opportunity of the half as Josh McDonald hit the byline and played the ball across the penalty area but no connection was found.

On the stroke of half time, the ball dropped kindly for Matty Henderson-Hall who caught his strike sweetly but the attempt was diverted out for a corner.

At the start of the second half, City came forward at pace and Oboavwoduo’s initial strike was saved but the 17-year-old bundled home the rebound to give his side the lead.

In the 60th minute, Jahmai Simpson-Pusey picked out Alfa-Ruprecht with a piercing through ball and he found Heskey in the middle who tapped home to double the hosts advantage.

Leeds looked to respond as they attempted to hit City in transition, but Sam Chambers’ left footed strike was deflected out for a corner.

However, Noble headed the ball across goal and Mfuni was at the back post to nod home the young Cityzens’ third of the evening, as they edged ever closer to the FA Youth Cup title.

The Whites nearly pulled one back as captain Daniel Toulson’s flicked header at the near post was taken care of by True Grant in the City goal.

After 82 minutes, Warhurst bared down on goal and slid his shot across the goalkeeper into the far corner for his 21st goal of the season.

In the dying embers of the game Leeds attempted to gain a consolation goal as Charlie Crew curled a right footed effort just wide of the post.

Soon after, the final whistle blew and Manchester City were crowned FA Youth Cup champions for the first time since 2020.

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