Emile Smith Rowe scored twice as our under-23s slipped to defeat against Manchester City on Saturday.
City’s Nabil Touaizi broke the deadlock early on with a perfectly-timed chipped finish, but shortly after Smith Rowe levelled the score with a drilled strike into the bottom corner.
Krystian Bielik then handed us the lead with a thumping header from Charlie Gilmour’s corner, before Xavier Amaechi doubled our advantage with a right-footed half-volley at the far post.
It looked as if we’d be going into half-time with our two-goal lead, but before the referee could blow his whistle, Adria Bernabe found the top left corner with a stunning first-time finish from the edge of the box.
City would go on to pounce first after the break through Touaizi, who fired high into the roof of the net, but once again Smith Rowe was there to restore our lead with a cool finish into the bottom corner.
But the drama was far from over and Taylor Richards went on to make it 4-4 from the penalty spot, before Eddie Nketiah missed his penalty, allowing substitute Rabbi Matondo to put the hosts in front.
Stephy Mavididi looked like he’d snatched a point for Freddie Ljungberg’s side when he rifled the ball past Curtis Anderson just four minutes from time, but it was City who would leave with all three points.
With just two minutes left on the clock, Touaizi latched onto a long ball, rounded Deyan Iliev and completed his hat-trick with a simple finish into an open goal.
Our under-23s must now prepare for their next clash at Emirates Stadium, where they’ll host Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League 2 on Monday, August 20. Kick-off is at 7pm (UK time).
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