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Monday 31 March 2014

Barclays U21s: Fofana strike continues Man City's rise

City hit six against Sunderland; while Chelsea and Spurs also record Under-21 victories

  • Manchester City's Seko Fofana celebrates his superb goal against Sunderland

  • Souleymane Coulibaly scored the first goal for Spurs against Arsenal

  • Islam Feruz scores the winner for Chelsea against Blackburn (credit: Mark Sandom)

Seko Fofana scored a 40-yard wonder strike as Manchester City moved up to third in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League with a 6-2 win over Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium.

City carried on from where they left off in beating Blackburn Rovers 6-0 and were 3-0 up after 13 minutes against the Black Cats with two goals from Jordy Hiwula and one from Fofana. The visitors got one back through an own goal from midfielder Olivier Ntcham but City's three-goal advantage was restored 11 minutes before the break when Sunderland's Thomas Robson put into his own net.

Fofana then produced his moment of magic, firing a fierce long-range shot into the top corner which left the goalkeeper with no chance. Mickael Mandron grabbed a late consolation for Sunderland before Devante Cole rounded off the scoring with his 12th of the season in stoppage time. The result leaves Manchester City a point behind leaders Liverpool with both teams having played 17 matches.

Tottenham Hotspur are 10th thanks to a 2-0 victory over rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane. Souleymane Coulibaly put the hosts in front from the penalty spot on 28 minutes after Isaac Hayden was sent off for bringing down Ruben Lameiras while Harry Winks added a second on 84 minutes with a drive from the edge of the box.

The victory boosts Spurs' chances of claiming a top-half finish. At the end of this season, the 22-team division splits into two for the 2014/15 campaign.

Chelsea Under-21 manager Dermot Drummy called on his side to improve despite a 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers. Islam Feruz scored the only goal for Chelsea, who had Marco van Ginkel in the side as the Dutchman continues his recovery from a knee injury, The Blues are in fifth with 32 points from 16 matches and are three points behind Liverpool with a match in hand. The top four sides at the end of the season go into a play-off to decide the champions.

“We played really well in the first half and should have scored three or four goals, and Blackburn didn't really threaten, but we lost our discipline in the second half and we were far too open," Drummy told the club website. "I've just spoken to the boys and told them there was no balance in midfield when we didn't have the ball and, no disrespect to Blackburn, better teams will hurt us if we play like that."

Kieran Sadlier scored with seven minutes to go to give West Ham United a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough at the Boleyn Ground. Jordan Brown put the Hammers ahead on 14 minutes with a calm finish into the bottom corner but Lewis Sirrell equalised in the second half with a flick on from a free-kick. West Ham claimed their first win in three matches when Sadlier tapped home from Brown's centre.

Manchester United's hopes of securing a place in the top four were dented with a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United last week. Remi Streete scored the only goal for the hosts just after half-time leaving United in eighth, four points adrift of fourth but with two matches in hand.

Top of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League table

CLUB

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

Liverpool

17

11

2

4

48

26

22

35

Fulham

19

10

5

4

35

27

8

35

Man City

17

11

1

5

43

21

22

34

Southampton

19

10

3

6

31

25

6

33

Chelsea

16

9

5

2

36

20

16

32

Sunderland

18

9

4

5

34

29

5

31

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

Barclays Under-21 Premier League results

28 March
Chelsea (Feruz) 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
Man City (Hiwula 2, Fofana 2, Robson og, Cole) 6-2 Sunderland (Ntcham og, Mandron)
Tottenham Hotspur (Coulibaly, Winks) 2-0 Arsenal
West Ham United (Brown, Sadlier) 2-1 Middlesbrough (Sirrell)

26 March
Newcastle United (Streete) 1-0 Manchester United

Barclays Under-21 Premier League fixtures

31 March
1pm Newcastle United v Stoke City, Northumberland FA
7pm Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion, Villa Park
7pm Bolton Wanderers v Arsenal, Lancashire FA
7pm Everton v Southampton, Southport FC
7pm Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leicester City, Molineux Stadium

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

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Key Points

  • Man City up to third place in U21 Premier League with 6-2 win over Sunderland
  • Souleymane Coulibaly and Ruben Lameiras score as Spurs defeat Arsenal
  • Chelsea, West Ham and Manchester United also record victories