Brandon Barker’s last-minute equaliser saved a point for Manchester City as they narrowly avoided defeat against Aston Villa this morning.
City knew that five points from their remaining games could secure their place in the semi-finals of the Barclays U18 Premier League and it was a pretty perfect start when Thierry Ambrose fired them ahead after just five minutes.
However, the lead didn’t last for long. Jerell Sellars squeezed his shot just inside the post to bring Villa level.
It only took another five minutes for City to see themselves ahead again. Barker scored his first of the game by creating space for himself inside the box and firing into the far corner with a low drive.
Another few minutes later, it took an overhead kick from Harry McKirdy to bring Villa level, which concluded a frantic opening 18 minutes.
Villa took the lead before half-time through Sellars second. He was send through on goal and beat Billy O’Brien with a little help from the underside of the crossbar on the way in.
A fairly uneventful second half concluded in spectacular fashion. Just as the northern division leaders thought all hope of a point had faded, Ambrose pulled a ball back on the by-line for Barker to volley home – a volley that just trickled over the line and means that City only need four points from their remaining fixtures to qualify for the play-off stage.
Elsewhere, Chelsea and Manchester United, who surprisingly both have little to play for at this stage of the season, drew 1-1.