Nmecha hits brace as Manchester City U23 run riot over Southampton U23

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Felix Nmecha scored a brace as Manchester City U23 silenced Southampton U23 7-1 in Monday’s Premier League Two encounter.

Unbeaten in their last 11 games in the league, Enzo Maresca’s side came into the game with the ambition of extending their fine form as well as avenging their 5-2 defeat in the reverse fixture.

After a strong start from both teams, Liam Delap put the Citizens ahead in the 29th minute, the English youngster headed a well-taken corner by Tommy Doyle past goalkeeper Jack Bycroft for his 11th goal in his last six league games.

Four minutes into the second half, Callum Doyle doubled the lead for the hosts before Delap scored his second of the evening in the 56th minute.

A minute later, the harvest of goals continued as Adrian Bernabe put City four goals up at the Academy Stadium. Caleb Watts pulled one back for the visitors in the 65th minute but Delap restored Manchester City’s four-goal advantage by completing his hat-trick 14 minutes later.

Before the game was restarted, Nmecha was introduced for the 18-year-old Englishman of Nigerian background Samuel Edozie.

Four minutes after his introduction, they German-born English footballer of Nigerian descent found the net as he scored a quickfire double inside five minutes from close range to finish off a goal-scoring masterclass from Maresca's youths in the eight-goal thriller.

Senegalese defender Alpha Dionkou was in fine form as he halted the Saints’ attacking forays. Thanks to this result, Manchester City remain at the top of the Premier League 2 table, five points ahead of second-placed Blackburn Rovers.

Nmecha joined the City academy at the age of nine in 2007 and spent a decade within the club’s youth system before making his senior debut in an EFL Cup quarter-final against Leicester in December 2017.

He made his Premier League debut as a late substitute against West Ham at the London Stadium in April 2018 before making another appearance off the bench against Brighton at the Etihad Stadium the following month.

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The Nigeria prospect then spent last season on loan at Championship side Preston where he made 44 appearances, scoring four goals.

The forward, who was born in Germany before moving to England as a child, has represented the Three Lions from under-16 through to under-21 level.

Nonetheless, the youngster opted to switch his allegiance back to the country of his birth, making his Germany Under-21 debut against England later that month.