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Monday 28 April 2014

Barclays U21s: Man City win to book play-off place

City snatch fourth off Fulham with victory over Aston Villa in final match of regular season

  • Manchester City's win means they will now take on Chelsea in the play-offs

Manchester City 2-0 Aston Villa

Manchester City made sure of a place in the top four of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League, and the end-of-season play-offs, with victory over Aston Villa in their final match of the campaign.

City went into the match in a run of form that threatened to derail their play-off hopes, having collected one point from their final three league matches, while they had also lost in the final of the Under-21 Premier League Cup.

Needing victory against Villa on Sunday to leapfrog Southampton, Leicester City and Fulham to make the last four, the home side had the perfect start at the Etihad Stadium when captain Marcos Lopes put City ahead after 12 minutes, with a strike off the outside of his foot.

Jordy Hiwula almost doubled the lead but Villa were able to get to Adam Drury's centre before connection was made, while at the other end, City goalkeeper Ian Lawlor saved  Jerrell Sellars' free-kick.

City continued to look bright in the second half, with Craig Hill saving from Angelino's chip while Hiwula could not make contact with Sinan Bytyqi’s corner.

The home side did seal the victory they required in the first minute of added time when substitute Thierry Ambrose poked home from Devante Cole's pass.

In the semi-finals, Manchester City will take on Chelsea, who finished top of the table after the regular season, at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday 1 May (7.15pm kick-off). Stamford Bridge is unavailable due to hosting two first-team matches in the same week (Chelsea v Atletico Madrid on Wednesday; Chelsea v Norwich on Sunday). This match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Liverpool will take on Manchester United at Anfield on 2 May (7.45pm kick-off) in the other semi-final. This match will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

Manchester City report | Aston Villa report

Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 Reading

Tottenham Hotspur ended their season on a high with thrilling victory at Stevenage Borough's Lamex Stadium.

Jan Vertonghen and Etienne Capoue returned from injury to play their part in the contest, the result of which sealed a 12th-place finish for Spurs. Nabil Bentaleb opened the scoring for Spurs from the penalty spot before Ruben Lameiras, again from the spot, made the score 2-0 after 36 minutes.

However, Bentaleb was sent off just before the break and Reading responded after half-time with goals from Jack Stacey and Pierce Sweeney. But Spurs were not to be denied as Lameiras and Kenny McEvoy scored to seal victory.

Tottenham Hotspur report

Newcastle United 1-3 Arsenal

Chuba Akpom scored a brace as Arsenal came from behind to beat Newcastle United on Friday night.

The Magpies had an ideal start when they took the lead on two minutes through a Lubomir Satka header but Arsenal equalised just before half-time, Akpom firing home from Ainsley Maitland-Niles's pass.

The Arsenal striker made it two from the penalty spot after he was fouled in the area on 62 minutes before Maitland-Niles made sure of the three points with a calm finish in stoppage-time.

Newcastle United report | Arsenal report

Barclays Under-21 Premier League results

Friday 25 April, 2014
Newcastle United (Satka) 1-3 Arsenal (Akpom 2, Maitland-Niles)

Sunday, 27 April, 2014 
Manchester City (Lopes, Ambrose) 2-0 Aston Villa
Tottenham Hotspur (Bentaleb, Lameiras 2, McEvoy) 4-2 Reading (Stacey, Sweeney)

Final Barclays Under-21 Premier League table (top)

  P W D L GD Pts
21 13 5 3 23 44
21 13 3 5 25 42
Man Utd
21 11 6 4 16 39
Man City
21 12
22 38
21 11 5 5 8 38
Leicester 21 11 4 6 7 37
21 11 3 7 5 36
21 10 5 6 7 35

Find out the full Barclays U21 Premier League fixture list here and view the table here.

You can follow developments on Twitter with the Premier League's account @premierleague or via the hashtag #BU21PL

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Key Points

  • Manchester City make Barclays Under-21 Premier League play-offs
  • Patrick Vieira's team beat Aston Villa in final match of regular season
  • Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal end campaigns with victories