Manchester City 2-3 Juventus: Blues' NextGen qualification hopes in doubt after late fightback falls short

Jose Pozo and Marcos Lopes both netted for Attillio Lombardo's young guns, but it was not enough as the Italians held on to claim a deserved victory away from home
Manchester City's hopes of qualifying for the next stage of the NextGen tournament suffered a blow as they fell to a 3-2 defeat against Juventus.

City's youngsters took the lead 15 minutes into the game through Jose Pozo's point-blank strike, before goals from Andrea Schiavone, Hordur Magnsson and Leonardo Bonatini put the visitors in command. Marcos Lopes pulled one back late on but it was not enough as the Italians held on to secure a win that puts them on the brink of the knockout stages.

City started the better of the two teams and had an early chance to take the lead when Pozo flashed a shot just wide of the post inside the first 10 minutes.

However, just over five minutes later Pozo atoned for his earlier miss, as he showed quick reactions to poke home after Devante Cole's shot had been well saved by Constantin Branescu. The Blues went close to doubling the lead minutes later as Cole fired another fierce effort just wide of the far post.

Attilio Lombardo's men continued to control proceedings, and came close to adding a second when Pozo played in Portuguese winger Lopes, who skipped past a trio of defenders before seeing his strike brilliantly saved by Branescu.

However, despite all their artistry the hosts were pegged back as the visitors levelled through a free kick from captain Schiavone, whose low effort deceived City keeper Ian Lawlor and nestled in the bottom corner.

That was the way it stayed until half-time as the two defences tightened up, however Juventus started the second half with renewed purpose and vigour, and should have taken the lead when Stefano Padovan broke free before drawing a smart save from Lawlor just minutes into the period.

Lombardo's side remained a threat despite the visitors' growing confidence and had a golden chance to snatch the initiative once more when Branescu performed heroics to prevent Cole from tapping home a dangerous far post cross from Adam Drury. 

Branescu was undoubtedly the star of the show for Juventus and he produced another excellent stop to deny the dynamic Pozo as the play became increasingly stretched.

City were always vulnerable from set-pieces despite all of their vibrant attacking play, and they fell behind from another dead ball situation as 19-year-old Icelandic midfielder Magnusson curled a magnificent free kick into the top corner from the edge of the area to hand the men from Turin the advantage.

That goal seemed to stun the home side and Juventus went agonisingly close to adding a third when Stefano Beltrame struck the post after beating the City offside trap.

It mattered not however, as the Italians did find the third goal in a matter of minutes as Albanian winger Elvis Kabashi played a wonderful through ball into the path of substitute Bonatini, who slotted past Lawlor to put the game seemingly beyond reach.

Despite the deficit Lombardo's charges refused to lie down, and they got themselves back into the contest when Lopes cut in from the right-flank before powering a low shot which deflected past Branescu to give the small home crowd hope of a comeback.

City pressed to find a dramatic equaliser but it was not forthcoming as Juventus stood firm to claim all three points.