Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1 (Nketiah)
Arsenal U18s’ hopes of winning the title suffered a major setback today as they lost 3-1 away to Chelsea.
A victory at Cobham would have seen the young Gunners crowned champions for the first time in seven years but, despite another goal from Eddie Nketiah, Chelsea proved too strong and can now clinch the title themselves with a win against Reading on Friday.
Arsenal fielded their strongest available lineup (with the exception of goalkeeper Hugo Keto who was eligible as an overage player).
Reiss Nelson and Nketiah, who scored for the U23s against Manchester United last night, both started but it was Chelsea who commenced the game in more emphatic fashion, with Cole Dasilva putting the hosts ahead following good work from Dujon Sterling.
Kick-off had been delayed after Arsenal’s coach had broken down en route to the game and matters weren’t going to plan on the pitch either, with Trevoh Chalobah doubling Chelsea’s advantage before the break.
Arsenal brought on Vlad Dragomir for Donyell Malen at the start of the second half and they soon reduced the deficit through the prolific Nketiah, who scored against his former club.
Chelsea, though, made sure of all three points when substitute Martell Tyler-Crossdale struck.
Arsenal’s destiny is now out of their hands. They host West Ham United on Saturday but Chelsea may well be champions by then.
Arsenal: Virginia; Osei-Tutu, Olowu, Medley, T. Bola; McGuane, Dasilva; J. Willock (Fortune, 75) Nelson, Malen (Dragomir, 46); Nketiah. Subs not used: Crean, Omole, Gilmour.