Thursday 06 February 2014
Manchester City moved up to fifth in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League after completing a resounding victory over Bolton Wanderers at Hyde FC to extend their winning sequence to nine matches in all competitions.
Patrick Vieira's charges have not been beaten at U21 level since 6 October 2013, and first-half goals by Seko Fofana, Sinan Bytyqi, in addition to strikes by Devante Cole and Jordy Hiwula in the second period on a blustery, cold winter's night, suggest it is a run that shows no sign of abating.
City knew they had their work cut out against an in-form Bolton side who would have leapfrogged them in the table with victory, but, buoyed by the return of captain Marcos Lopes from first-team duty, the hosts took their task with determination after an early narrow escape when Conor Wilkinson fired over after just two minutes.
Lopes soon gave an indication of the sort of night that was in store for the Trotters when he turned his marker inside out before cracking a shot off the foot of a post in the ninth minute. Bolton withstood the mounting pressure until the half-hour when Lopes intercepted a ball out of the opposition defence and laid it off to Fofana, who unleashed a fierce strike from outside the area that found the bottom corner.
Six minutes later City doubled their lead when Bytyqi's snapshot squirmed under Jay Lynch in the Bolton goal.
Vieira's side scored the best goal of the night five minutes after the break, Cole cutting in from the left before curling in a fine shot off a post from 25 yards. The scoring was complete when Hiwula scrambled in a rebound after a smart save by Lynch.
City will aim to make it 10 wins on the spin when they next play on Monday night at Reading.
Wednesday 5 February
Manchester City (Fofana, Bytyqi, Cole, Hiwula) 4-0 Bolton Wanderers
Monday 4 February
Aston Villa 0-2 Reading (Tanner and Stacey)
Leicester City 0-1 Manchester United (Petrucci)
Middlesbrough (Kneeshaw) 1-2 Stoke City (Grant, Alabi)
Sunderland (Laidler, Smith) 2-0 Newcastle United
Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Everton
Liverpool P-P Wolverhampton Wanderers
Southampton P-P Fulham
Friday 7 February
Arsenal v Southampton, 3.30pm, London Colney.
West Brom v Middlesbrough, 2pm, WBA Training Ground.
Fulham v Chelsea, 7.05pm, Motspur Park.
Find out the full Barclays Under-21 fixture list here and view the table here.