Loan report – Bola plays at right-back; Nwakali and Mavididi feature


Lucas Perez started up front and played the full game as Deportivo La Coruna lost 4-1 to Espanyol.

Marc Bola started at right-back and played the whole game as Bristol Rovers beat Blackpool 3-1.

Stephy Mavididi was brought on in the 68th minute as Preston North End drew 0-0 with Millwall.

Kelechi Nwakali was introduced in the 76th minute as VVV-Venlo drew 1-1 with PEC Zwolle. The midfielder made his first start for the club in the 3-0 win over Blauw Geel ’38 in midweek.

Takuma Asano came on in the 84th minute as Stuttgart drew 0-0 with Augsburg.

Emiliano Martinez was an unused substitute as Getafe beat Villarreal 4-0.

Cohen Bramall wasn’t involved as Birmingham City drew 1-1 with Derby County. Carl Jenkinson missed out through injury.

Joel Campbell is unlikely to be involved when Real Betis host Levante tomorrow as he is still building up his fitness after returning from injury.


Balogun hits brace as depleted Arsenal U18s thrash Reading

U18 Premier League

Arsenal 4 (Daley-Campbell 24, Balogun 52, 77, John-Jules 69) Reading 0 

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Folarin Balogun scored twice as Arsenal U18s returned to winning ways in emphatic style with a 4-0 victory at home to Reading today.

Having surrendered a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 against Manchester United in the U18 Premier League Cup last week, Arsenal were determined to bounce back today and they did so despite being deprived of several important members of their side.

Zech Medley, Joseph Olowu and Emile Smith Rowe, perhaps with Monday’s U23 game against Everton in mind, were all not involved, while Daniel Ballard joined a lengthy injury list that also includes Nathan Tormey, Jay Beckford, Xavier Amaechi, Daniel Barden, Jordan McEneff and Mark McGuinness.

Harrison Clarke and Tobi Omole formed an unlikely centre-back pairing, withTyreece John-Jules and Matthew Smith also coming into the starting line-up.

Arsenal’s resources were so depleted that they only named three substitutes, including schoolboy goalkeeper Tom Smith, who received his first call-up at this level.


Daley Campbell-Clarke-Omole-Thompson

Benson-M. Smith

Saka-John Jules-Olayinka


Subs: Swanson (for Saka, 80), Spencer-Adams (for Daley-Campbell, 80). Not used: T. Smith.

After a quiet opening the game sprung into life in the 24th minute and it was certainly worth the wait as right-back Vontae Daley-Campbell found the net with an impressive strike from distance after being found by Dominic Thompson.

Arsenal doubled their advantage soon after the break with the clinical Balogun scoring after latching onto Tyreece John-Jules’ pass.

John-Jules then opened his account for the season with a neat strike following good work from Bukayo Saka before Arsenal sealed their win in the 77th minute as a shot deflected in off Balogun.

There was then time for first-year scholars Zak Swanson and Bayli Spencer-Adams to be brought on for their first appearances for the U18s.

Info from AFCFixtureNews

Dasilva and Willock make debuts while Nelson features as Arsenal beat Doncaster in Carabao Cup


Arsenal edged to a 1-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Emirates Stadium tonight, with Reiss Nelson making his first competitive senior start.

Doncaster produced an impressive performance and, although Arsenal found the net through Theo Walcott in the 25th minute, the League One side continued to cause problems for the Gunners, especially towards the end of the game.

Arsenal managed to hold on for victory, however, and will host Norwich City in the next round of the competition.


Nelson was deployed at right wing-back and struggled at times defensively, although he looked comfortable on the ball when he managed to get into attacking positions.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, meanwhile, was on the left flank and also appeared vulnerable when defending, even though he made a couple of good interventions.

With Calum Chambers having suffered an injury, Josh Dasilva was brought on at the start of the second-half for his debut.

Having previously featured as a striker and a central-midfielder, Dasilva has been used as a left wing-back for the U23s of late but on this occasion he was deployed as a centre-back; a position he only has fleeting experience of playing in.

Dasilva played some impressive passes out from the back, but, like some of his colleagues who were being played out of position, the 18-year-old wasn’t entirely comfortable with the task asked of him. He coped well overall, however, and will hope for further first-team minutes in due course.

Joe Willock was brought on as a late substitute as he too made his competitive first-team debut, while Eddie Nketiah and Matt Macey were un-used substitutes.


Nelson and Dasilva amongst eight youngsters to train with Arsenal first-team pre-Doncaster


Arsenal held their final first-team training session today ahead of tomorrow night’s Carabao Cup third round tie at home to Doncaster Rovers.

As expected, several youngsters were in attendance, with Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Marcus McGuane, Josh Dasilva, Eddie Nketiah, Matt Macey and Deyan Iliev all called upon along with schoolboy goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo.

Nelson is the only member of the quintet who has already featured competitively for the first-team, while McGuane, who has played at centre-back for the U23s of late, has yet to be called up to the senior squad.

With regards to first-team players, Laurent Koscielny, Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac were all rested from the session, while Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla missed out through injury. Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Mathieu Debuchy didn’t train.

Petr Cech Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Alex Iwobi, who started against Chelsea last weekend, all trained along with David Ospina, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Mohamed Elneny, Per Mertesacker, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Chuba Akpom.


Jordi Osei-Tutu and Josh Dasilva – Arsenal’s flying young wing-backs


As far as the first-team are concerned, Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac are firmly established as Arsenal’s first-choice wing-backs.

There is a lack of clarity, however, regarding who exactly their deputies are. Ainsley Maitland-Niles can fill in on either side but is much more suited to playing in central midfield, while Nacho Monreal is now seen almost exclusively as a centre-back.

At U23 level, however, the Gunners have a pair of talented young wing-backs who are hoping to force themselves into the first-team reckoning in due course.

Jordi Osei-Tutu joined Arsenal from Reading in 2015 and hadn’t made a competitive appearance at U23 level prior to this season. In recent games, though, he has featured prominently at right wing-back and has provided a frequent attacking threat; it was his cross which led to Leicester City scoring an own goal last week.

Osei-Tutu is very composed in possession and has pace and power in abundance, while he regularly gets into dangerous attacking areas.

It must be stressed that the 18-year-old is far from the finished article – that much is in evidence by the fact that he often pushes too far forwards, leaving the defence exposed, while he can struggle in one-on-one situations.

Certainly, though, Osei-Tutu has raw qualities that make him a useful asset, especially at U23 level, and he will hope to continue to thrive this season, although Tafari Moore’s return from injury could limit his game time somewhat.


Over on the left side of defence, Josh Dasilva is now a mainstay in the U23 team having been involved with the squad over the past couple of seasons.

Previously a striker, the Hale End graduate switched to central-midfield and then ended up moving into defence.

Dasilva hasn’t lost his attacking tendencies, however, and has quietly been one of the most effective performers for the U23s in the early stages of the campaign, with his superbly-dispatched free-kick away to Manchester United undoubtedly the highlight so far.

While Osei-Tutu may struggle defensively at times, Dasilva is rather more impressive in that regard and is capable of making precisely-timed interceptions with regularity.

Last season Dasilva was on the bench for the Arsenal first-team in the FA Cup and the League Cup and he will hope for further senior involvement this campaign, with tomorrow night’s encounter against Doncaster Rovers in the latter competition perhaps a chance for him to make his debut.

Loan report – Bola starts; Asano and Nwakali feature


Marc Bola started and played the whole game as Bristol Rovers lost 3-0 to Wigan Athletic.

Takuma Asano came on in the 72nd minute as Stuttgart beat Wolfsburg 1-0.

Kelechi Nwakali was introduced in the 75th minute as VVV-Venlo beat Vitesse 1-1.

Lucas Perez was brought on in the 77th minute as Deportivo La Coruna lost 2-1 to Real Betis, for whom Joel Campbell wasn’t involved.

Emiliano Martinez was an unused substitute as Getafe lost 2-1 to Barcelona.

Cohen Bramall was an unused substitute as Birmingham City lost 3-1 to Preston North End. Carl Jenkinson missed out for Birmingham due to injury, while Stephy Mavididi was an unused substitute for Preston.



Arsenal U18s surrender three-goal lead to lose against Manchester United in Premier League Cup

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U18 Premier League Cup

Manchester United 4 (Burkart, Bughail-Mellor, Gomes (2) Arsenal 3 (Saka, Smith Rowe, Olayinka)

Arsenal’s first fixture in the U18 Premier League Cup proved to be eventful for the wrong reasons as they surrendered a three-goal lead to lose 4-3 away to Manchester United.

The young Gunners were three goals up at half-time but were woeful defensively in the second period and were duly punished by an impressive United side.

Coach Kwame Ampadu made two changes to the team that lost to Chelsea in the league last weekend, with Zech Medley and Dominic Thompson coming in for Robbie Burton and Tobi Omole.

The alterations saw Daniel Ballard move into midfield, while Harrison Clarke was back in the squad.


Daley Campbell-Olowu-Medley-Thompson


Saka-Olayinka-Smith Rowe


Subs: Clarke (for Thompson), John Jules (for Saka), Smith (for Ballard). Not used: Okonkwo.

Arsenal got off to a flying start with schoolboy Bukayo Saka opening the scoring after cutting inside and finding the net with a fine strike early on.

Emile Smith Rowe then made it 2-0 after he was found by Folarin Balogun, with James Olayinka proceeding to score Arsenal’s third and seemingly secure victory.

However, at United’s Cliff training ground, Arsenal’s performance levels fell off a cliff in the second half as the hosts somehow managed to assume control of the game.

Substitute Dylan Levitt crossed for Nishan Burkart to reduce the deficit and then D’Mani Bughail-Mellor finished well past Virginia.

United got a third goal when Bughail-Mellor was fouled in the area, with the prodigious Angel Gomes scoring from the penalty spot.

Gomes was on hand again to score another penalty after Largie Ramazani was fouled, with Arsenal’s capitulation complete.

Ampadu will be left livid at the manner of his side’s defeat, although the young Gunners will have an opportunity to redeem themselves in their remaining group stage fixtures against Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

via @AFCFixtureNews