Match report- Crowley outstanding as Arsenal U19s thrash Galatasaray

Arsenal U19s continued their excellent start to their UEFA Youth League campaign by thrashing Galatasaray 5-1 at Meadow Park this afternoon.

Gedion Zelalem put Arsenal ahead with his first goal for the club on the stroke of half-time and the floodgates opened in the second-half, with Kaylen Hinds, Chris Willock, Alex Iwobi and Dan Crowley all finding the net, the latter scoring a penalty.

A victory over Anderlecht in their next game would move Arsenal ever closer to progression to the knock-out stages of the competition, which would be a commendable feat considering the inexperience of this side.

There are, however, some outstanding talents in this group, and Galatasaray struggled to cope with Arsenal’s quick movement and possession football.

The young Gunners signalled their intent from the offset, with Iwobi doing well to find Hinds, who shot over.

Iwobi then embarked on another mazy run and teed up Crowley on this occasion, whose effort rattled the crossbar.

Iwobi came anxiously close to scoring himself when his shot struck the post, but Arsenal were finally rewarded for their efforts when Zelalem manoeuvred his way past three players before finishing confidently for his first Arsenal goal.

With Galatasaray’s resistance finally broken, Arsenal could express themselves more in the second-half.

Tafari Moore, deployed at left-back, crossed for Hinds to make it 2-0. Willock then put the game beyond doubt with a calm finish.

The fourth came courtesy of Iwobi, who fired home after excellent work from Crowley. It was fitting that Crowley would then score himself, with the midfielder capping off an excellent display by scoring a penalty after he was brought down in the area.

Crowley almost scored again not long afterwards, and, although Galatasaray scored the merest of consolations through Furkhan Kopuz, it didn’t take any of the shine off an excellent victory for Arsenal.

Arsenal: Huddart; Johnson, O’Connor, Dobson, Moore; Maitland-Niles, Zelalem; Willock, Crowley, Iwobi; Hinds. Subs: Wright (for O’Connor, 67), Bola (for Moore, 74), Mavididi (for Hinds, 80). Not used: House, Smith, Robinson, Sheaf.



  1. Really enjoyable viewing. So much skill and promise in the group.

    But, after watching PSG yesterday, and knowing the Chelsea team, there remains a strong chance we’ll come up against a team in this year’s comp who we can’t cope with physically, and I hope fans will keep in mind how young the team is if that does happen, particularly if it was a big defeat.

    Might seem odd to be talking about that after such a good win but there was ceratinly nothing in that Galatasaraay team which can be compared to the challenge for 16 and 17 year olds against very strong eighteen year olds like Loftus-Cheek and Christiansen of Chelsea, while PSG yesterday had 7 or 8 players who looked as strong physically as our strongest (Mait-Niles) today.

    Think everyone should enjoy this year, when there could be a lot more of the excellent skills we showed today on display (great chance to finish top of group, home draw, who knows?) but not see it as a disaster if we lose later on; as next year, when all bar one (Iwobi) of the team can play again, we should be one hell of a team.

    Oh yeah, and imagine if we had refs like that in the prem? Commentators weren’t sure about him, but only two or three of his thirty or so free-kicks seemed wrong to me, and by clamping down on fouls from minute one, he did the exact things refs are supposed to do : punish cynicsm, let the better team come to the fore, protect skillful players,etc. We’d end up with a lot more points every year if refs in the prem were like that, but I don’t think he’d make it out of league two here if he persisted with all that ‘a foul’s a foul’ nonsense of his.

    And Crowley, it was wonderful to watch but he better not play exactly the same against English opposition. Imagine someone thinking they can be allowed to turn or dribble past their markers about twenty times in a match, all while keeping the ball away from them by the tiniest margins. Here ,you’d get a clattering on the third or fourth go, with the Pulis on the sideline thinking it was deserved for a lack of respect.

    Still got a sneaky feeling Maitland-Niles might end up the best of the lot

  2. As much as I like to get excited by midfielders and forwards, it’s when a defender shines you have to accept a good performance. For me the player most likely to become a top international player is taffy moore, I was also impressed by the stature of Ryan huddart.

    1. Good shout on Moore. I always forget to praise him because I’ve already talked too much about (attacking) others, but he’s top notch. Decision making, work rate, temperament seemingly always of a high level. Noticeable that in our stinker with Chelsea last year they got nowt from him

      1. They didn’t? I recall their left winger Jay dasilva, who’s only a schoolboy, wreaking havoc down the right side of arsenals defence.

      2. I recall Jay dasilva giving all he had and succeeding maybe once down that right side and that was against one of the Arsenal cb’s

      1. Pretty good, I thought. One great run out from the back, glimpses of well-above-average passing ability for a cb. Has a very unusual style in that he looks like he’s never at rest, always bouncing around ready to move in any direction (I’m cautiously optimistic that might mean something good : many of the best defenders have that quality of being ever alert and prepared to react)

        Whole defence played well to be honest, but did ease off quite a lot in last twenty after two subs were brought into it (might not have been all down to defence as whole team eased off a bit)

        Whattdo I know, though, I thought Luke Ayling looked an excellent defender in our all-conquering youth side, and then he promptly left for Yeovil

  3. Arsenal as a team were superb starting from the back to the front. And just maybe with a bit more teamwork up front could have scored double figures.

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