Report – Substitute Flaherty hits winner as table-topping Arsenal U18s beat West Ham

U18 Premier League

Arsenal 2 (Balogun 7, Flaherty 83) West Ham 1 (Alese 47)


Stan Flaherty emerged off the bench to score the winner as Arsenal U18s beat West Ham United 2-1 at London Colney yesterday.

The young Gunners took the lead with just seven minutes gone when Folarin Balogun found the net following good work from Trae Coyle.

However, West Ham were level just after the break when Ajibola Alese’s effort got the better of Arthur Okonkwo.

It was Flaherty, though, who would provide the game’s decisive intervention, with the first-year scholar’s header sending Arsenal top of the table.

Arsenal: Okonkwo; Daley-Campbell, McGuinness, Spencer-Adams, Lopez; M. Smith, Clarke (Swanson 63); Greenwood, Coyle, Musah (Cottrell 88); Balogun (Flaherty 81).

Subs not used: Hein, Alebiousu.

Last weekend Arsenal were held to a goalless draw away to West Bromwich Albion in their opening Premier League Cup group stage fixture.

The usually clinical Folarin Balogun squandered several inviting chances to score, while Kwame Ampadu’s team were grateful for goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo, who made some impressive stops.

Arsenal: Okonkwo; Daley-Campbell, McGuinness, Spencer-Adams, Ogungbo; M. Smith, Clarke; Greenwood, Musah, Cottrell; Balogun.

Subs: Hein, Martin, Swanson, Alebiousu, Flaherty.




Smith Rowe scores first goal as Arsenal beat Qarabag in Europa League

Emile Smith Rowe scored his first senior goal as Arsenal continued their Europa League campaign with a 3-0 victory away to Qarabag tonight.

Smith Rowe, who featured as a substitute against Vorskla Poltava, was selected to start on this occasion and produced an encouraging performance as he made some excellent runs.

After Sokratis Papastahopoulos had opened the scoring, Smith Rowe made it 2-0 with a composed finish after being teed up by fellow Hale End product Alex Iwobi.

Smith Rowe was substituted in the 65th minute and then Matteo Guendouzi added a third goal for Arsenal.

Deyan Iliev, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock also travelled to Azerbaijan but weren’t included in the matchday squad.

Nketiah travels with Arsenal squad for trip to face Qarabag

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah was included in the travelling squad for the Europa League game away to Qarabag.

Nketiah, who has been an unused substitute on two occasions this season, will hope to make his first appearance of the campaign in the Europa League clash.

Goalkeeper Deyan Iliev has also travelled, but this is likely to only be for training purposes, with Bernd Leno and Emiliano Martinez also involved.

Other players to have travelled include Sokratis Papastahopoulos, who is back from injury, Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi, Mohamed Elneny, Alex Lacazette, Matteo Guendouzi, Sead Kolasinac, Mesut Ozil, Lucas Torreira, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal, Granit Xhaka and Alex Iwobi.

Petr Cech is injured, while Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos remain sidelined.

Burton, Omole, Olayinka and more … the next crop of Arsenal U23s start to emerge

Deprived of the services, for various reasons, of Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, Cohen Bramall, Charlie Gilmour, Ben Sheaf, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Gedion Zelalem and Xavier Amaechi, you could have been forgiven for expecting Arsenal U23s to struggle away to Leicester City last night.

As it transpired, Arsenal managed to prevail with a 2-1 victory, emphasising that Freddie Ljungberg’s squad may be deeper than was initially anticipated.

Robbie Burton was at the forefront of proceedings as he scored and provided an assist and the Welsh youth international has had to be very patient for opportunities to impress at this level.

Burton is far from the finished article but he demonstrated against Leicester that he is capable of making an impact for the U23s with his precise passing.

Tobi Omole is another Hale End product who is no longer eligible for the U18s but hasn’t yet fully established himself in the U23s. The youngster’s versatility should aid his chances of further game time – he can play at centre-back, left-back, or, as was the case last night, in midfield.

Omole scored the opening goal against Leicester and, while he may find himself back on the bench when key players return, his display will certainly have impressed Ljungberg.

There are others who fall into the category of starting to establish themselves in the U23s, with Danny Ballard and Zech Medley seeking to become the regular central-defensive partnership for the U23s, while James Olayinka has quietly been an important part of Ljungberg’s team in recent weeks.

Trae Coyle, too, received a run out against Leicester, with the youngster, who can play as a winger or an attacking midfielder, looking to fulfil his vast potential after his development stagnated a little last season.

On the left flank, Bukayo Saka has already made quite an impact for the U23s, scoring against Liverpool and creating countless chances, despite still technically being a first-year.

There are more youngsters on the periphery of proceedings. Midfielder Matt Smith is efficient at retaining possession, while striker Folarin Balogun has impressed consistently at U18 level and left-back Dominic Thompson has trained with the first-team this season.

Soon, other second-years, including right-back Vontae Daley-Campbell and the versatile Harry Clarke and Zak Swanson, could also step up.

They may not have been hyped up quite as much as their immediate predecessors, but there is a talented new crop of players emerging for Arsenal U23s and many of them could well be regulars at that level by the end of the campaign if some of the older players head out on loan in January.

Report – Burton scores and assists as Arsenal U23s beat Leicester to continue impressive form

Premier League 2

Leicester City 1 (Wright 30) Arsenal 2 (Omole 20, Burton 61 (pen))


Arsenal U23s continued their impressive form with a 2-1 victory away to a strong Leicester City side tonight, with Robbie Burton at the forefront of proceedings.

Burton, the talented Welsh youth international, provided the assist for Tobi Omole’s opener and, after Callum Wright levelled for the hosts, it was the Arsenal number ten who got on the scoresheet himself to score the winner from the penalty spot.

Arsenal’s victory was all the more commendable given the strength of the side that Leicester fielded.

There were a host of recognisable names in the Foxes’ starting lineup, including Caglar Soyuncu, Andy King, Yohan Benalouane, Fousseni Diabate, Hamza Choudhury and goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic.

Arsenal, meanwhile, were without Emile Smith Rowe, while Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah, who could be involved with the first-team against Qarabag in the Europa League on Thursday, were also absent.

Xavier Amaechi, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Ben Sheaf, Cohen Bramall and Gedion Zelalem are all still injured, and Charlie Gilmour served the second game of his three match suspension.

Freddie Ljungberg made two alterations to the team that beat Liverpool last time out, with Trae Coyle and Omole replacing Nketiah and Willock.





John Jules

Subs: Thompson (for Saka, 78), M. Smith (for Olayinka, 87). Not used: Hein, Olowu, Balogun. 

It was a rather uneventful start to the game, but Arsenal eventually managed to break the deadlock when Omole scored his first goal at this level as he latched onto Burton’s cross.

Wright shot over as Leicester sought to stage a response, but Tyreece John-Jules was battling bravely up front for Arsenal and caused problems for Soyuncu.

However, Leicester were level on the half hour mark, with Wright finishing well after Iliev’s disappointing ball out put Arsenal under pressure.

Leicester substitute Raul Uche Rubio sought to put the hosts in front in the second half, but Iliev made an impressive stop to preserve parity.

Eventually Arsenal managed to get back in front with Tolaji Bola being brought down in the area and Burton sending the subsequent spot-kick past Jakupovic.

Diabate’s free-kick provided Arsenal with a scare, but Ljungberg’s side held on to extend their unbeaten run in the league to six matches, with four of those having been wins.

There was also another positive for Arsenal, with Dominic Thompson entering the fray for his debut at this level in the closing stages.

Loan report – Macey and Ospina feature; Nelson an unused sub

David Ospina played the whole game as Napoli lost 3-1 to Juventus.

Matt Macey played the full game as Plymouth Argyle lost 3-2 to Doncaster Rovers.

Takuma Asano was an unused substitute as Hannover lost 4-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Reiss Nelson was an unused substitute as Hoffenheim lost 2-1 to RB Leipzig.

Calum Chambers wasn’t involved as Fulham lost 3-0 to Everton.

Krystian Bielik wasn’t involved due to injury as Charlton Athletic drew 2-2 with Luton Town.

Kelechi Nwakali’s Porto B weren’t in action this weekend.