Manchester City youth team coach Gareth Taylor celebrated ‘a big statement’ as well as a trophy after his side beat Stoke City in the under-18s Premier League Cup final.
Taylor says the competition, exclusively for category one academies, is as tough to win as the FA Youth Cup. They were made to work to get on top against Stoke last night at the Academy Stadium – and once they did they went right for the kill.
A hard-fought 1-0 lead after an hour became 6-0 over the next 14 ruthless minutes.
Sam Edozie’s deflected effort had made the breakthrough then Liam Delap, son of Rory, added a crucial second before Cole Palmer and James McAtee fired in braces.
“It’s a big statement,” manager Taylor told the Manchester Evening News, having seen his team score 25 goals in six matches to retain their crown.
“This has only been the third year of the competition. Chelsea won it in the first year and it’s as difficult to win as the FA Youth Cup – there are six games. I thought from the first ball kicked against Swansea in this tournament we were excellent.
“Working our way through the rounds, we had a difficult group against Southampton and Liverpool and the performance for me has been key. I remember last season against Middlesbrough, we didn’t play great, we got the result and on the night it’s obviously about the result. But I was proud of the performance today because that was a tough game.
“At 0-0 it was a really tough game, Stoke are a very physical team and we’re a very young team. Apart from Cole [Palmer] and Sammy [Robinson] today we were all first-years and with under-16s on the bench. I’m just super proud of the players but we’ve been working with them for a while and I’m not overly surprised. I’m aware of their quality and they’re a humble group to work with.
“Winning is great. We’re hungry to do more and make a statement. It’s a nice habit, winning trophies and hopefully there’s a couple more we can secure. But we’re not kidding ourselves. We know it’s going to be really tough.
“We had some good individuals throughout this competition but it takes a team to win it.”