Bobby Duncan, Steven Gerrard’s cousin, scores from 25 yards in FA Youth Cup final

Not only is the Premier League title race tantalisingly poised between the two sides, their under-18s also went toe-to-toe in the FA Youth Cup final on Thursday night.

Liverpool won 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw, the decisive spot-kick scored by captain Paul Glatzel.

City went into the game looking to put some gloss on what has otherwise been a relatively disappointing campaign.

Whereas Barry Lewtas’ Reds look set for the title in the coming weeks, City can finish fifth at best.

It would have been impossible to tell their respective fortunes on the night, however, as Gareth Taylor’s young side played at times with the fluidity and panache we’ve come to expect from the senior team – and all under the watchful eye of Pep Guardiola, who was in attendance at the Academy Stadium.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Lukas Nmecha were shining lights for City, but it was 18-year-old striker Nabil Touaizi who opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time.

Incidentally, remember that name – Nabil Touaizi – as the teenager was named one of The Guardian’s prestigious ‘Next Generation’ talents last year and is tipped for big things.

However, just when it looked as though the cup’s destination would be decided by a solitary goal, with five minutes of normal time still to play, there was to be a dramatic finish.

Out of nowhere, Bobby Duncan – who just so happens to be the cousin of a certain Steven Gerrard – and a former City player to boot, wrapped his left foot around the ball and sent it hurtling into the top corner to send the game to extra-time.

Goalkeeper Louie Moulden should have done much better and could only palm it behind him. The stopper had enjoyed a quiet night until that point, rarely being tested.

There could not have been a more poetic narrative than Duncan proving the difference, the prodigious starlet who signed for City at the age of 10, but moved on feeling that better opportunities lay elsewhere.

City had the better chances in extra-time but there was no breakthrough from a visibly fatigued set of youngsters.

And so, to penalties, where Cole Palmer was the only player to fluff his lines, his spot-kick rebounding off the crossbar.

It was to be Liverpool’s night, and thanks in no small part to Duncan’s heroics.