Author: Jeorge Bird

Loan report – Martinez, Bielik and Chambers feature

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Emiliano Martinez played the full game as Reading drew 1-1 with Bristol City.

Krystian Bielik played the whole game and as booked as Charlton Athletic lost 2-1 to Oxford United.

Calum Chambers played the whole game and was booked as Fulham beat Bournemouth 1-0.

Matt Macey was an unused substitute as Plymouth Argyle lost 3-1 to Gillingham.

Reiss Nelson was an unused substitute as Hoffenheim won 5-2 versus Schalke.

Emile Smith Rowe was an unused substitute as RB Leipzig beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1.

Kelechi Nwakali wasn’t involved as Porto B lost 2-1 to Sporting Covilha.

Takuma Asano wasn’t involved as Hannover drew 0-0 with Hertha Berlin.

David Ospina‘s Napoli host Atalanta tonight.

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Report – Nketiah hits brace and provides assist for Jenkinson as Arsenal U23s beat Chelsea

Premier League 2

Chelsea 1 Arsenal 3 (Nketiah 8, 29, Jenkinson 44)

By Jeorge Bird @Stamford Bridge

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Eddie Nketiah was the star of the show as Arsenal U23s secured a 3-1 victory away to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their final away fixture of the season.

Nketiah, who has flitted between the first-team squad and the second-string all season, put Arsenal ahead in the eighth minute before doubling his tally just before the half hour mark with a superb strike.

The prolific striker wasn’t finished there, however, as he proceeded to set up Carl Jenkinson, who scored Arsenal’s third goal.

Chelsea, to their credit, improved significantly after the interval and managed to reduce the deficit through Daishawn Redan.

Arsenal managed to hold on for victory, though, with Arthur Okonkwo again impressing in goal behind a well-organised defence.

Coach Freddie Ljungberg made two alterations to his team, with Jenkinson and Nketiah replacing Cohen Bramall and Joe Willock.

Schoolboy goalkeeper Hubert Graczyk made the bench with Tom Smith and James Hillson away at the Dallas Cup.

Ljungberg went for a five-at-the-back formation, with Xavier Amaechi, intriguingly, deployed in a more central position than usual.

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 Amaechi-Burton

                                               Saka

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Subs: Bramall (for Jenkinson, 62), John-Jules (for Amaechi, 78), Thompson (for Saka, 83). Not used: Graczyk, Omole. 

It took some time for the game to spring into life, but Arsenal showed some encouraging signs early on and played the ball out from the back effectively.

The young Gunners proceeded to take the lead in the ninth minute, with Nketiah’s sharp finish getting the better of Chelsea goalkeeper Karlo Ziger.

Despite taking the lead Arsenal knew that there was still much hard work for them to do in order to prevail in this game, and they were frequently called into action defensively, with Jordi Osei-Tutu, who started at left wing-back, making some excellent interceptions.

Amaechi saw a free-kick headed away before Zech Medley, playing against his former club, was booked for a late challenge.

Arsenal remained largely in control and they made it 2-0 in the 29th minute, with Nketiah on target again.

On this occasion Nketiah managed to find the net from a very difficult angle as he proved that, despite not playing regularly for the U23s this season, he remains extremely potent at this level.

Okonkwo had kept two clean sheets in his first two games at this level and was determined to keep another, with the Hale End product making a sharp save.

He was, though, nearly caught out as he stumbled following a backpass, but eventually managed to clear the danger.

Having survived that scare, Arsenal went on to make it 3-0 before the break and Jenkinson, rather surprisingly, was the scorer.

Amaechi deserved much credit for winning the ball in midfield and locating Nketiah, who had drifted out to the right flank.

Nketiah’s cross was perfectly timed and Jenkinson was in the right place to extend Arsenal’s lead.

Arsenal went into the break well in the ascendancy and it seemed likely that they would face a backlash from Chelsea in the second half.

That it is exactly what transpired, with the Blues emerging with renewed vigour as they sought to somehow force their way back into the game.

Chelsea had numerous efforts, but Arsenal’s defence, well marshalled by the likes of Ben Sheaf and Daniel Ballard, managed to stand firm.

Arsenal were now largely playing on the counter-attack, and Saka saw a shot parried.

The majority of the action was occurring at the end of the pitch, and Chelsea spurned an inviting opportunity to score before Okonkwo made an excellent save.

Chelsea then hit the woodwork and then, after 263 minutes of U23 football without conceding, Okonkwo was finally beaten when Redan scored.

Substitutes Dominic Thompson and Tyreece John-Jules had chances to restore Arsenal’s three-goal cushion, but this game had effectively been won in the first 45 minutes.

Although they weren’t quite as fluent in the second half, Arsenal still deserved their victory and Ljungberg will have been impressed with how his side defended as a unit.

The young Gunners lacked a little creativity at times, perhaps owing to the absence of Willock, but with a player as clinical as Nketiah in the side they always had a good chance of securing all three points.

It will be intriguing to see what next season has in store for Nketiah, as he surely has to be playing first-team football on a regular basis whether at Arsenal or out on loan, but this was the latest example of just how prolific he can be at youth level.

Loan report – Nelson scores; Smith Rowe makes RB Leipzig debut

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Reiss Nelson was brought on in the 69th minute and scored in the 76th minute as Hoffenheim beat Hertha Berlin 2-0.

Emile Smith Rowe came on in the closing stages to make his RB Leipzig debut in the 2-0 win against Wolfsburg.

David Ospina played the full game as Napoli beat Chievo 3-1.

Emiliano Martinez played the entirety of Reading’s 2-1 victory against Brentford.

Matt Macey played the whole game as Plymouth Argyle lost 2-0 to Doncaster Rovers.

Calum Chambers played the full game as Fulham beat Everton 2-0.

Krystian Bielik started and played 88 minutes as Charlton Athletic won 3-1 against Luton Town.

Takuma Asano wasn’t involved as Hannover lost 1-0 to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Kelechi Nwakali wasn’t involved as Porto B drew 1-1 with Pacos de Ferreira.

 

 

Dallas Cup: Balogun strikes but Clarke sent off as Arsenal U19s lose to Monterrey

Arsenal U19s’ first game of the Dallas Cup didn’t go to plan as they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Monterrey.

Schoolboy Miguel Azeez started in midfield, while first-year scholar Ryan Alebiosu was also given a runout.

Monterrey took the lead but Arsenal equalised when Balogun, who was born in the United States, was fouled in the area and stepped up to score the resultant spot-kick.

However, Monterrey added two further goals and Arsenal’s misery was compounded when Harry Clarke was sent off.

The young Gunners are back in action tomorrow when they face Real Salt Lake.

Arsenal: T. Smith; Alebiosu, McGuinness, Clarke, Swanson; M. Smith, Azeez; Greenwood, Cottrell, Coyle; Balogun.

Taylor-Hart amongst five schoolboys in Arsenal’s Dallas Cup squad

Arsenal have named their squad for the Dallas Cup, with schoolboys Kido Taylor-Hart and Nathan Butler-Oyedeji amongst those included.

The Gunners will field an U19 squad at the prestigious tournament and further schoolboys have been included in Yunus Musah, Miguel Azeez and Mazeed Ogungbo.

Other notable inclusions are Bayli Spencer-Adams and Jordan McEneff, who have both been out injured, and goalkeeper James Hillson, who is on loan from Reading.

Goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo has remained in England so that he can feature for the U23s against Chelsea next week, with Tyreece John-Jules, Bukayo Saka and Xavier Amaechi also falling into that category.

Karl Hein, Joel Lopez and James Olayinka miss out due to injury.

This tournament could be especially useful for the likes of Alfie Matthews, Matthew Dennis and Ryan Alebiosu, who haven’t yet established themselves as regulars in the starting lineup for the U18s.

Arsenal’s Dallas Cup squad: Balogun, Clarke, Coyle, McEneff, McGuinness, M. Smith, Swanson, Hillson, Daley-Campbell, Spencer-Adams, Cottrell, Alebiosu, Dennis, Flaherty, Matthews, T. Smith, Greenwood, Azeez, Ogungbo, Musah, Taylor-Hart, Butler-Oyedeji.

Report – John-Jules hits brace and Willock stars as Arsenal U23s thrash Derby

Premier League 2

Arsenal 5 (John-Jules 21, 26, Willock 33, Amaechi 61, Medley 78) Derby County 0Tyreece+John+Jules+Arsenal+vs+Tottenham+Hotspur+ou46MQUvlFdl

Tyreece John-Jules continued his fine form in front of goal by scoring a brace as Arsenal U23s swept aside their Derby County counterparts with an emphatic 5-0 victory at Meadow Park tonight.

Arsenal were hugely impressive and were too difficult for Derby to deal with, as Joe Willock, who was outstanding, also got on the scoresheet along with Xavier Amaechi and Zech Medley.

There were debuts at this level, too, for Ben Cottrell and Zak Swanson, who entered the fray as substitutes, to cap off a hugely positive occasion for the young Gunners.

Coach Freddie Ljungberg made two alterations to his team, with Cohen Bramall and Robbie Burton replacing Julio Pleguezuelo and James Olayinka.

With Deyan Iliev out injured, Arthur Okonkwo retained his place in goal.

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Subs: Cottrell (for Willock, 46), Medley (for Burton, 64), Swanson (for Osei-Tutu, 78). Not used: T. Smith, Coyle. 

It took some time for Arsenal to get going, but they eventually managed to settle into the game, and, as is usually the case, Amaechi was an integral part of his side’s build-up play.

The hugely talented winger had an effort saved and then did excellently to carve out a chance for Willock, who was also denied by Derby goalkeeper Henrich Ravas.

After much probing, Arsenal eventually opened the scoring in the 21st minute, with John-Jules continuing his rich vein of form as he finished adroitly having capitalised upon a Derby mistake.

It could have been 2-0 shortly afterwards, with Bukayo Saka doing well to play in Willock, but the midfielder dragged his effort wide on this occasion.

Arsenal did then double their lead and it was John-Jules who scored again following a superb passage of play that involved Willock playing a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of Saka, who crossed for John-Jules to score.

Derby briefly threatened to get back into the game as they sent an effort over after Okonkwo failed to hold a free-kick, but Arsenal remained largely in control and were constantly seeking to add to their lead.

Willock, who was always in space, threaded the ball through to John-Jules, who was denied his hat-trick by an intelligent save from Ravas.

Arsenal then proceeded to make it 3-0 and Willock was rewarded for his efforts as he scored after a cross from Jordi Osei-Tutu.

Willock was withdrawn at half-time, perhaps so he can train with the first-team over the next couple of days, and Cottrell entered the fray for his U23s debut.

Derby started the second half eager to make amends for their showing in the first period and hit the woodwork with a free-kick before Daniel Ballard made one of his trademark goal-line clearances with Okonkwo stranded.

Arsenal eventually made it 4-0, with Amaechi finishing from close range and then Ljungberg made two further substitutions, first bringing on Medley and then Swanson.

Swanson, whose versatility and excellent performances for the U18s have earned him a professional contract, made sure his debut for the U23s was a memorable one as he provided an assist for fellow substitute Medley just seconds after coming on.

Deployed at right-back, Swanson swung an excellent cross into the penalty area and Medley was alert to score.

Saka had a shot saved as Arsenal were prevented from inflicting further damage on a beleaguered Derby side and Amaechi was hobbling at the end, but overall this was an excellent result and performance from Arsenal, who gained revenge on Derby, having been beaten by the same scoreline by their opponents earlier in the campaign.

There were plenty of positives to take from proceedings, not least the performance of Willock, who surely cannot spend another season in the U23s. The midfielder certainly needs to be playing senior football in some capacity next campaign, whether at Arsenal or out on loan.

Amaechi and Saka were as dangerous as ever, while John-Jules continues to excel up front.

The defence deserves credit as well, with Osei-Tutu and Ballard coping well, while Bramall, potentially making one of his final appearances for the club, dealt with the threat of Derby winger Jayden Mitchell-Lawson perhaps better than expected.

Okonkwo, meanwhile, kept another clean sheet and should certainly be the club’s first-choice custodian at this level next season.

Cottrell looked a little overwhelmed by the physicality of U23 football but should grow used to it and deserves a run-out after excelling for the U18s.

Arsenal will conclude their season with a trip to Chelsea and a home game, at Emirates Stadium, against Leicester City, as they look to finish strongly.

 

Loan report – Bielik wins against Macey; Martinez features

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Emiliano Martinez played the whole game and was booked as Reading lost 3-1 to Hull City.

Krystian Bielik played 63 minutes and was booked as Charlton Athletic won 2-0 against Plymouth Argyle, for whom Matt Macey played the entire game.

David Ospina was an unused substitute as Napoli drew 1-1 with Genoa.

Kelechi Nwakali wasn’t involved as Porto B lost 4-1 to Academica.

Takuma Asano wasn’t involved as Hannover lost 3-1 to Wolfsburg.

Calum Chambers‘ Fulham didn’t have a game this weekend.

Emile Smith Rowe has started full training but wasn’t ready to feature as RB Leipzig beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2.

Reiss Nelson missed out through injury as Hoffenheim beat Augsburg 4-0.