Strong Reserve side lose to Sunderland

Arsenal 0 Sunderland 2

Premier Reserve League 

London Colney

Arsenal Reserves started the New Year with a 2-0 defeat to Sunderland this afternoon. The Gunners conceded both goals in the first half and, although they created several chances in the second, the Black Cats held on to secure victory.

Neil Banfield was able to call upon three members of Arsene Wenger’s first-team squad, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ju Young Park and Ryo sought to gain fitness ahead of the FA Cup tie against Leeds next week, whilst Ignasi Miquel started his first game at this level since October. Thierry Henry had hoped to be involved, but the paperwork required from the New York Red Bulls did not arrive in time for him to play.






subs: Shea, Angha, Ansah, Brislen-Hall, Meade.

Sunderland: Gordon, Laing, Liddle, Reed, Turner, Egan, Lynch, Knott, Tounkara, Cook, R. Noble. Subs: Marrs, Wilson, Deacon, L. Noble, Elliott.

An enterprising Sunderland side almost caught Arsenal out straight from the off when Ryan Noble fired into the side netting after exchanging passes with Craig Lynch.

Arsenal threatened to respond, but, despite enjoying much of the possession, it was the visitors who carved out the more clear-cut chances, with Damian Martinez having to be alert to deny Oumare Tounkara after Sead Hajrovic had been beaten.

Twelve minutes later Tounkara would play a key role in Sunderland taking the lead when he nodded a dangerous free-kick in to the path of Ryan Noble who finished with aplomb. Noble has been in clinical form at Reserve level this season, with Arsenal the latest side to suffer at his expense.

A tame header over from Park after a good cross from Miquel was all that Arsenal could muster as an initial response, before that man Ryan Noble sought out Jordan Cook, who shot wide.

It wasn’t long until Sunderland doubled their advantage, Billy Knott strode forward from midfield, received the ball back off Adam Reed, and finished with a spectacular lobbed effort past Martinez.

Tounkara was proving a considerable danger to Arsenal as he continued to tee up chances for his team-mates, next releasing the ball to Cook who dragged his effort wide again.

Although Arsenal’s frustration continued to grow, Oxlade-Chamberlain was always a dangerous option down the right flank, and provided a cross for Park, but the striker was beaten to the ball by an alert Craig Gordon.

Park then skewed an effort over after good work from Murphy and that, in truth, summed up a disappointing first half from Arsenal’s perspective.

Arsenal, probably spurned on by some stern words from Banfield at the break, started the second period in the ascendancy, with Craig Eastmond steering a shot wide from distance, before Oxlade-Chamberlain saw his free-kick clear the crossbar.

Oxlade-Chamberlain then latched onto a pinpoint cross from Ryo, but Gordon was equal to his quick-fire effort. The Sunderland goalkeeper was again on hand to meet Miquel’s scruffy header after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s delivery.

Zak Ansah replaced Daniel Boateng late on to add some attacking threat, whilst former Gunner Roarie Deacon emerged off the bench for Sunderland, but, despite enjoying the better of the second period, Arsenal ended up on the losing side for the third Reserve game in succession.



  1. I have been over london colney today and i think the playing of matches there rather than in a proper stadium is having a negative effect on the performances as well as the results. at least.playing at barmet u are as a player getting to feel that u are in a stadium in front of a few fans. playing these games here makes it nothing more than a practice match in training just different opposition. i cant see why we cannot play all our matches at the emirates on a matchday after the first team game.

  2. No Ozyakup, is he injured? If he isn’t then it might be a sign he could either be involved against Leeds, or that a loan move is imminent.

    1. I think it’s more likely to be the latter as Park, Miyaichi, Chamberlain and Miquel will definitely play some part against Leeds.

  3. That’s a good looking attack surpirsed we didn’t manage to score though by the sound of it AOC played well and deserves more of a first team chance. Defence in contrast, ignasi aside, looks pretty weak though so no surprise we conceded 2.

    1. Defence really consisted of 4 centre backs. where have i heard that before?

      before u all shout me down i know hajrovic plays rb but he is originally a cb.

      strange one with ozzy but i think a loan deal has been agreed and the loan club didnt want him to play. cos surely chamberlain miquel park and ryo would be lined up for leeds too?

      1. That’s true and quite strange considering we have several in the u18s though I guess the ones playing were senior and one or two not having much hope of a future at the club but I suppose the club doesnt want to discourage anyone.

  4. Mimicking the first team with a back-four of centre-backs…..

    Good to see Ryo back, hope he’s involved in the FACup next Monday.

      1. To be fair though he was probably our best defender today. i thought thewhole performance especially in the firsthalf was totally inept. only chamberlain looked like he wanted to play. rhys murphy has completely gone. the injuries have finally taken their toll and to be honest i cannot see him having a career eveb in div 2. i really hope im wrong cos he has never struck me as one of those youths with attitudes. On todays evidence u can see why wenger has kept park out of the 1st team

  5. Gervinho and chamakh are both out of contention for leeds joinjng the already absent sagna jenkinson djourou vermaelen santos gibbs wilshire diaby. we should still have too much for leeds i expect rosicky benayoun arshavin chamberlain and park to fill the 5 attacking roles unless henry gets his insurance. i expect fabianski to keep goal with a back 4 of coquelin mertesacker koscielny miquel and song the dm. though i have a sneaky feeling that hoyte eastmond and yennaris as well as ryo will be involved somewhere.probably joining almunia van persie and walcott on the bench.

  6. Alban Bunjaku saga continues ……. reality he went to Brentfoird,West Ham and Tottenham and they have not signed him. Yes the boy is technically very good but there are other facets which are not spoken about , primarily being his reluctance to travel which he avoids when possible.
    Whenever there is running involved he mysteriously has a strain and not able to participate.
    Everything has to be on his terms, well shock horror eventually the decision makers say enough is enough and cut him loose. Maybe this is the wake up call he needs to buck up his ideas and get his head back on track. Never doubt his ability, he has talent but there are other factors including outside influences from some who wished they had his talent which are turning his head. He may be better moving abroad where its slightly slower paced where his talents can come to fruition.

    As for yesterdays result, disappointing but maybe there is some credability in what BC states – playing in a stadium does raise your game.

    As previously stated need to get people out on loan

    freshen things up and allow the next generation to start coming through.
    Reserve league needs a complete overhaul, not surprised more and more teams are pulling out.
    Better off loaning players out down the leagues and scrapping it all together.

  7. So many rumours about bunjaku too many i know people at hale end academy and they said alban has always been a very shy lad and very humble and quote in 8 years we never once had a problem with him, so when he went to shenly he suddnly turned into a monster? doesn’t make sense, i do think its the right choice for him to leave arsenal because he was hitting a brick wall 2 years done everything he could on the pitch and he only got 15 mins playing time in the reserves in an away game with 1 man down and he was played in a makelele role! how can u play a striker defensive mid? but when people in power have something against u that’s how it goes in life. But i cant understand how arsenal fans can listen to bad rumours on a player that loved arsenal and only wanted to play for arsenal since he joined the club when he was 7, where do u think these rumours come from use your head people its actually funny.

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