U21 Premier League
Arsenal 1 (Ormonde-Ottewill 87) Newcastle United 2 (Streete 20, 63)
Arsenal U21s saw their unbeaten start to the season come to an end as they lost 2-1 at home to Newcastle United this evening, although Steve Gatting was without four of his most prominent players who will instead be in the first-team squad to take on Southampton in the Capital One Cup tomorrow night.
Hector Bellerin, Isaac Hayden, Chuba Akpom and Semi Ajayi will all be involved in some capacity with the senior side tomorrow. In their absence there were U21 debuts for first-year scholars George Dobson and Kaylen Hinds, as well as starts for the likes of Tafari Moore, Alex Iwobi and Glen Kamara, who haven’t been regularly involved for the second-string so far this season. Stephy Mavididi made his U21 debut as a substitute.
Gedion Zelalem, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Dan Crowley all trained with the first-team this morning, but they were back on U21 duty this evening against a comparatively experienced Newcastle side containing the likes of Haris Vuckic, Shane Ferguson and Gael Bigirimana. Newcastle prevailed courtesy of two almost identical goals, with Remi Streete scoring with a header in each half, although Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill struck late on for Arsenal.
Streete’s first goal came in the 20th minute when he sent a header beyond the reach of Matt Macey after latching onto Daniel Barlaser’s cross. He doubled both his and his team’s tallies in the 63rd minute when he scored a rather similar goal from a corner.
Ormonde-Ottewill offered Arsenal a glimmer of hope when he found the net with three minutes remaining, but Newcastle held on to win.
Arsenal, maybe as was to be expected with a rather unfamiliar line-up, struggled to create many attacking chances apart from that, although this game did at least provide some of the lesser-used youngsters with some much-needed playing time. Jack Jebb, however, missed out through illness and is yet to make an appearance at any level this season.
Zelalem may consider himself a little unfortunate not to even make the bench for tomorrow’s game, but Arsene Wenger is likely to give playing time to the likes of Tomas Rosicky and, if fit, Abou Diaby, who have barely featured this season.
Bellerin will be seeking to rid himself of the memories of last week’s encounter in Dortmund, whilst Akpom will hope he is finally provided with the opportunity to prove his worth in a competitive fixture having been so impressive at U21 level so far this season.
It will be a big night for Hayden, too, with the England U20 international set to be entrusted with a starting berth at the heart of the defence. Ajayi is likely to be amongst the substitutes.
Arsenal U21 team: MACEY; MOORE, DOBSON, O’CONNOR, ORMONDE-OTTEWILL; KAMARA, ZELALEM; MAITLAND-NILES, CROWLEY, IWOBI; HINDS. Subs: VICKERS, M. BOLA, SHEAF, SMITH, MAVIDIDI.
Benik Afobe was on the scoresheet again this weekend, with the striker coming off the bench to find the net as MK Dons trounced Crewe Alexandra 6-1. Afobe was introduced in the 59th minute and scored after latching onto a long ball from hat-trick hero Dele Alli.
Ryo made his first start for FC Twente, with the Japanese winger playing 68 minutes of their 4-1 win over Heracles Almelo.
Having made his West Ham United debut against Hull City on Monday night, Carl Jenkinson again came off the bench yesterday, playing the last half an hour as his temporary side beat Liverpool 3-1. Jenkinson was booked shortly after his introduction for a foul on Alberto Moreno.
Austin Lipman started and played 74 minutes as Boreham Wood lost 2-1 to Basingstoke Town. Lipman did well to set up Graeme Montgomery, whose subsequent shot was saved.
Jon Toral came on for the final 15 minutes of Brentford’s 4-0 defeat away to Middlesbrough.
Kristoffer Olsson was an un-used substitute as Midtjylland took on Nordsjaelland, whilst a similiar fate befell Wellington as Almeria beat Real Sociedad.
Stephy Mavdidi continued his phenomenal start to the season by scoring both of Arsenal U18s’ goals in their 2-2 draw at home to Reading this morning.
Mavididi has now scored nine goals in his first five league fixtures of the campaign to add to the five goals he scored for the U18s whilst he was a schoolboy.
Arsenal were unable to take all three points on this occasion, but Frans De Kat’s side have started well, taking 10 points out of a possible 15.
Several players, including Chris Willock and Kaylen Hinds, were rested following their exploits in the UEFA Youth League in midweek. Schoolboy Tolaji Bola made his first start of the season, with Ryan Huddart and Aaron Eyoma also coming into the side.
Arsenal travel to face Fulham next week.
Centeno-Dobson-T. Bola-M. Bola
subs: House, Johnson, Da Silva, Willock.
UEFA Youth League- Matchday 1
Borussia Dortmund 0 Arsenal 2
The Arsenal first-team may have suffered a deeply disappointing 2-0 defeat in Dortmund last night, but the club’s young prospects were victorious by that scoreline in their opening UEFA Youth League fixture.
Kaylen Hinds scored both goals in the first-half, with assists being provided by Dan Crowley and Chris Willock. This was a commendable victory for a young team comprised almost entirely of English players with the exception of Gedion Zelalem.
Without many of the players who helped them to reach the latter stages in last season’s competition, you could have been forgiven for predicting that Arsenal would struggle here.
However, they more than held their own, with Willock and Hinds particularly impressive.
Arsenal’s next fixture in this competition is at home to Galatasaray.
Arsenal: Huddart; Johnson, O’Connor, Wright, T. Moore; Maitland-Niles, Zelalem; Iwobi, Crowley, C. Willock; Hinds.
Subs: Mavididi (for Iwobi), Robinson (for Willock), Dobson (for Johnson). Not used: House, M. Bola, Sheaf, Smith.
Hector Bellerin has had to be rather patient for his chance to impress at Arsenal.
The Spaniard has delivered numerous consistent performances for the club’s development sides since joining from Barcelona in 2011, but, over the next few weeks, he could finally be cast into the first-team spotlight.
For all his potential, Bellerin is yet to start a competitive game for the Arsenal first-team, with his only official appearance to date coming as a substitute against West Bromwich Albion last season in the Captial One Cup.
Bellerin is in line to feature against Southampton when that competition gets back underway next week, but, before then, he could have a part to play away to Borussia Dortmund tonight in the Champions League if Calum Chambers is declared unavailable.
With regular right-back Mathieu Debuchy expected to be out for some time through injury, there could be further opportunities for Bellerin in the coming weeks with defensive options thin on the ground.
If Chambers was asked to cover at centre-back, for example, then Bellerin, who enjoyed a short but largely successful loan spell at Watford last season, may well be drafted in at right-back.
A hard-working player and a willing runner, Bellerin’s attributes in the attacking third have never been in doubt. There has been some criticism of his defending in the past,
but he has improved commendably in that regard, something he will be looking to showcase if he is called upon for the first-team in the near future.
U18 Premier League- Game 4
Norwich City 0 Arsenal 3 (Mavididi 23, 50 (pen), 83)
Stephy Mavididi scored a hat-trick as Arsenal U18s comfortably dispatched of Norwich City with a 3-0 win yesterday morning.
Having opened the scoring midway through the first-half, Mavididi later found the net from the penalty spot before finishing well again with seven minutes remaining. The first-year scholar has now scored seven goals in his first four games and could be involved when the U19s take on Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Youth League next week.
In a side primarily composed of first-years, Portuguese youth international Jonatas Centeno made his first appearance of the season at right-back, whilst Josh Vickers featured in goal as an over-age player. Chris Willock also returned to the fold having missed out last week due to international duty.
Arsenal are at home to Reading next week. Frans De Kat’s side sit top of the table having taken nine points out of a possible twelve so far this campaign.
subs: Huddart, Johnson, Eyoma, Hinds.
Benik Afobe scored another goal as MK Dons beat Barnsley 5-3 in a pulsating game in League One. Afobe opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, with MK Dons racing into a 5-0 goal lead only for Barnsley to score three times in the last eight minutes. The striker was replaced with 21 minutes remaining and has now scored six goals this season.
Ryo played the last 20 minutes as a substitute as FC Twente beat Go Ahead Eagles 2-1. It was the Japanese winger’s first appearance at any level since March after he recovered from a serious injury.
Kristoffer Olsson made his debut for FC Midtjylland as a 78th minute substitute in their 3-2 victory over Odense BK. The midfielder scored a hat-trick for Sweden U21s last week.
Wellington started and was largely impressive as Almeria drew 1-1 with Cordoba. The 21 year old caught the eye with his pace and trickery, but he also picked up a yellow card and was replaced midway through the second-half.
Jon Toral played the last 15 minutes of Brentford’s 3-2 win over Brighton & Hove Albion after coming off the bench.
Austin Lipman completed 75 minutes as Boreham Wood trounced Chelmsford City 4-0, with the striker seeing a shot saved by the opposition goalkeeper. On Monday Lipman scored twice as the Conference South table toppers beat Eastbourne Borough 5-2.
West Ham United take on Hull City on Monday, but Carl Jenkinson is unlikely to have returned from injury in time to feature.