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U23s Report: Palace undone by Delap double

Kirby 35'
Delap 32' 69'

On a sunny Saturday afternoon at Copers Cope, Crystal Palace Under-23s fell to defeat against reigning Premier League 2 Division 1 champions Manchester City. A brace from Liam Delap, either side of a well-taken Nya Kirby goal, was enough to secure all three points for the visitors.


  • Paddy McCarthy made two changes to the side which beat Brighton, with David Boateng and Tayo Adaramola coming in for Kaden Rodney and Reece Hannam

  • The two sides were evenly matched in the opening exchanges

  • Liam Delap put the visitors in front just past the half hour mark

  • Palace responded immediately through a brilliant Nya Kirby effort

  • Half-time: Crystal Palace 1-1 Manchester City

  • The Eagles were on top after the restart, but couldn’t take the lead

  • Delap added his second 68 minutes in

  • Second-half substitute Killian Phillips saw his goalbound effort denied by a diving save late on

  • Full-time: Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester City

Just under two weeks on from the 2-0 victory over rivals Brighton & Hove Albion, the Eagles welcomed Premier League 2 Division 1 leaders Manchester City to Copers Cope.

Paddy McCarthy made two changes to the side that beat Brighton, both at full-back, with David Boateng and Tayo Adaramola coming in for Kaden Rodney and Reece Hannam.

The two sides were evenly matched in the opening exchanges. Despite City’s great form, Palace fashioned the better chances. In the seventh minute, skipper Malachi Boateng played a looping ball over the top of the City defence into striker John-Kymani Gordon, though he couldn’t properly get a shot away.

City threatened to break on the counter 20 minutes in, though an excellent sliding challenge on the halfway line from Noah Watson on James McAtee was enough to deny the onrushing visitors.

The Citizens grew into the game and took the upper hand just past the half hour mark. City No. 9 Liam Delap scored his second goal of the season as he found the bottom corner of the Palace goal.

Palace’s response to going behind was almost instantaneous. The Eagles were straight down the other end from the restart and drew level through Nya Kirby.

The No. 10 received the ball inside the box, after great build-up play down the Palace right from Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and David Boateng, pirouetted onto his weaker left foot and curled home the equaliser past a helpless Van Sas in the City goal.

After levelling, Palace quickly pushed for a second to get their noses in front. Rak-Sakyi and David Boateng combined once more down the right, resulting in Boateng stinging the palms of Van Sas.

On the opposite flank, left-winger Scott Banks recovered the ball on the edge of the Palace box and floated a ball in to Gordon over the top. The striker picked out left-back Adaramola on a marauding run, though his cross just couldn’t quite find an onrushing Kirby.

The half-time whistle blew and whilst Palace were in the ascendency, though after the restart they continued where they had left off. Gordon came close within the opening five minutes of the second-half, though his shot was charged down, whilst Banks fired narrowly wide across the face of goal.

Just before the hour-mark, Gordon came close to finding Palace’s second. The familiar duo of David Boateng and Rak-Sakyi were helped by Jack Wells-Morrison in carving out an opening for Gordon, however the No. 9 fired his shot into the side netting.

Manchester City weathered the early Palace storm in the second-half and managed to reclaim the lead with just over 20 minutes remaining. Delap secured his brace after tapping in from close range, following a surging run from McAtee.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, second-half substitutes David Omilabu and Killian Phillips almost found an equaliser for Palace just moments after coming on. Omilabu’s surging run down the left saw him cut the ball back across to Phillips who forced Van Sas into a diving save.

That proved to be Palace’s best chance of levelling as the reigning champions saw the game out. Paddy McCarthy’s Eagles remain in fourth place in the Premier League 2 Division 1 on 32 points, level with Manchester United.

Crystal Palace: Whitworth, D. Boateng, Adaramola, M. Boateng, Quick, Watson, Banks (Omilabu, 76), Wells-Morrison (Phillips, 76), Gordon, Kirby, Rak-Sakyi.

Subs not used: Steele, Shala, Hannam.

Manchester City: Van Sas, Oduroh, Egan-Riley, Katongo (O’Reilly, 87), Galvez, Charles, Bobb, Gyabi, Delap, McAtee, Edozie (Borges, 73).

Subs not used: Slicker, Mebude.