Arsenal’s hopes of winning the 2008 FA Youth Cup, a competition they came so close to winning last season went up in flames as they lost 1-0 to Liverpool at Anfield.
In truth, it was always going to be a tough task. Missing the likes of Henri Lansbury and Jack Wilshere in midfield, it was hard to see where Arsenal’s opportunities were going to come from. Nacer Barazite’s return was a boost, but in the end it wasn’t enough.
In the first-half, the Gunners came close through Gilles Sunu and Gavin Hoyte, but they were both denied by Liverpool ‘keeper Dean Bouzanis.
Arsenal kept going forward but struggled to create chances and in the end they were made to pay when Steve Irwin’s deflected effort found the back of the net.
Arsenal could have gone even further behind.Liverpool’s David Amoo was a constant threat making bombing runs and dinking in shots from various angles, one such effort hit Szczesny and bounced off Rodgers and on to the crossbar, luckily Gavin Hoyte was on hand to mop up.
Steve Bould tried to change things by bringing on Jay Thomas and Thomas Cruise, but in the end it was a step too far for Arsenal’s young guns.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Ogogo, Steer (Cruise) , Dunne, Hoyte, Rodgers, Watts, Randall, Sunu (Thomas 71), Barazite, Gibbs. Unused subs: Shea, Nordtveit, Bartley.