Manchester City got their first win of the U18 Premier League Merit Group A with a 2-0 victory over fellow FA Youth Cup finalists Chelsea.
Tom Dele-Bashiru’s unstoppable strike early in the first half looked to be enough to see City past their perennial title challengers at the Academy Stadium until Taylor Richards doubled the lead in injury time.
Both sides had genuine claims on the lead in the early stages, with Ian Carlo Poveda’s dangerous cross just evading the outstretched toe of Benjamin Garre before Aro Muric was forced into a full-length diving save from a 20-yard drive.
City’s breakthrough came through a fierce low drive from Dele-Bashiru in the 17th minute but it felt at the time that may just be the first of many goals in the match.
Muric was forced in to two more saves before half-time but the big Swiss goalkeeper seemed equal to everything the visitors would throw at him.
City also had their own chances as Lorenzo Gonzalez and Phil Foden linked up to good effect twice with each firing wide at the end of different moves.
Chelsea came on strong again in the second period and looked to have a route back in as George McEachran was adjudged to have been fouled in the box. Reece James stepped up but Aro Muric was not to be beaten, diving and getting a strong palm to divert the penalty to safety.
Gonzalez almost made Chelsea pay moments later as he thundered a 30-yard half volley against the post.
That looked to be the last serious chance until Richards followed up on Bobby Duncan's parried effort to seal a crucial win for City’s hopes of Premier League glory.