Loan report- Zelalem scores in shoot out against Celtic; Toral sent off

Gedion Zelalem entered the fray as an 88th minute substitute and confidently dispatched a penalty in the shootout as Rangers overcame Celtic to reach the Final of the Scottish Cup, with the game having finished 2-2 after extra-time. 

Jon Toral had a couple of chances to score before being sent off in second half stoppage time for a second bookable offence as Birmingham City were beaten 2-1 by Burnley. A late challenge on Lloyd Dyer lead to the Spaniard being dismissed.

Wojciech Szczesny played the whole game as Roma drew 3-3 with Atalanta. 

Mathieu Debuchy played the whole game and was booked as Bordeaux lost 3-1 to Angers. The defender had a goal disallowed for offside.

Chuba Akpom was introduced as a 73rd minute substitute in Hull City’s 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, but Isaac Hayden didn’t feature. Emiliano Martinez was an un-used substitute for Wolves.

Yaya Sanogo wasn’t involved as Charlton Athletic lost 1-0 to Derby County.

Wellington missed out through injury as Bolton Wanderers were beaten 2-1 by Middlesbrough.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles didn’t feature as Ipswich Town drew 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday.

Glen Kamara wasn’t involved as Southend United lost 1-0 to Walsall.

 

Benson and Smith-Rowe feature as Arsenal U18s lose to Leicester

benson

Arsenal U18s suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat to their Leicester City counterparts at London Colney yesterday, despite Edward Nketiah scoring his 19th goal of the season.

It has become an all too familiar narrative this campaign, with the prolific forward often finding the net while as a team Arsenal have struggled for consistency in terms of their performances.

Coach Frans De Kat made a couple of changes to his side, with schoolboys Josh Benson and Tobi Omole coming into the side. Benson was impressive in midfield, while fellow U16 player Emile Smith-Rowe featured as a substitute and Joseph Olowu was named on the bench for the first time at this level.

Arsenal conclude their season with a trip to face Sunderland and a home game against Tottenham Hotspur.

Virginia

Osei Tutu-T. Bola-Omole-Chatzitheodoridis

Benson-Mourgos

Eyoma-J. Willock-Fortune

Nketiah

Subs: Keto, Dragomir, Smith-Rowe, Olowu.

via @AFCFixtureNews

 

Joe Willock showcases potential in Arsenal U18s’ win over Wolves

joewillock

His brother Chris has already been mentioned by Arsene Wenger as a potential candidate to break into the Arsenal first-team squad next season and now Joe Willock is starting to demonstrate that he is a very talented prospect in his own right.

The 16-year-old- the youngest of Arsenal’s current first-year scholars- hasn’t always been a regular for the club’s U18 side this season, but when he has featured the England youth international has invariably been impressive.

In the 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers last week striker Edward Nketiah hit the headlines by continuing his fine recent form with a brace, but Willock’s performance in that game certainly warrants a mention.

The youngster showcased his immense potential by controlling the ball immaculately while he also played several short, snappy passes to his team-mates as Arsenal impressed in an attacking sense.

Although he is also capable of operating out wide, the younger Willock is best suited to playing as an attacking midfielder as from that area of the pitch he can burst forwards to great effect.

Willock isn’t a prolific goalscorer but he is steadily improving in that regard. His ability to lay on chances for others is superb and the starlet seems perfectly suited to Arsenal’s style of play.

In addition to Willock’s display there was another positive to take from the Wolves game as U15 player Xavier Amaechi made his U18s debut as a late substitute.

Arsenal: Virginia; Eyoma, Osei-Tutu, T. Bola, Chatzitheodoridis; Mourgos (Benson, 77), Dragomir; Tella (Omole, 46), J. Willock, Fortune (Amaechi, 86); Nketiah. Not used: Barden.

Report- Gnabry scores and Wilshere features but Arsenal U21s’ title hopes are dented by Swansea

U21 Premier League- Division 2

Swansea City 3 (King, Gorre, Bray) Arsenal 1 (Gnabry)

Screen shot 2016-04-04 at 13.24.34

Arsenal U21s saw their hopes of automatic promotion dented today as they were beaten 3-1 by Swansea City, although there were some positives to take from proceedings as first-team midfielders Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky stepped up their respective returns to full fitness, while Serge Gnabry provided a reminder of his quality with a stunning goal.

Swansea had former Arsenal goalkeeper Josh Vickers to thank for making some excellent saves to keep the young Gunners at bay.

Wilshere played the full game and Rosicky was on the field for 71 minutes, but neither was able to inspire the young Gunners to victory and attention will now turn to the final league game of the season at home to West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

A win in that fixture would see Arsenal top the table but even if they don’t succeed there is still a chance for them to be promoted via the play-offs.

Coach Steve Gatting fielded a very strong side, with first-team players Wilshere, Rosicky and Gnabry all returning to the fray. Kaylen Hinds, meanwhile, was given a starting berth after making a stellar impact as a substitute against Derby County on Monday. Stefan O’Connor made a welcome return from injury and was named on the bench.

Macey

Moore-Bielik-Pleguezuelo-M. Bola

Reine Adelaide-Wilshere

Gnabry-Rosicky-C. Willock

Hinds

Subs: Nelson (for C. Willock, 61), Sheaf (for Rosicky, 71), Crowley (for Reine-Adelaide, 82)

Not used: Keto, O’Connor.

Arsenal started well, with Gnabry forcing a save from former Gunner Josh Vickers. The goalkeeper, who was released by Arsenal last year, then made an impressive stop to thwart the lively Hinds.

Swansea then carved out their first opportunity of the game and they very nearly scored, with Joe Rodon’s header rattling the crossbar.

The Welsh side’s next attack would result in the game’s opening goal. Arsenal have improved defensively of late, but they were unable to prevent Adam King heading home from Nikola Maric’s cross as Swansea took the lead.

Arsenal attempted to respond, but they were finding it difficult to get the better of Vickers, with the goalkeeper doing well to keep out Gnabry’s free-kick.

Tafari Moore, who was making his return to action, then shot wide when well placed as Arsenal finally started to see more of the ball, and the Gunners then had a penalty claim waved away when Rosicky felt he had been fouled in the area.

Arsenal still had to be alert at the other end, however, with Matt Macey having to come to the rescue when a Swansea attempt deflected off Krystian Bielik.

Arsenal were struggling to break Swansea down and the hosts always seemed more dangerous in an attacking sense. That point was borne out when Kenji Gorre doubled Swansea’s advantage with a sweet finish beyond the reach of Macey.

To their credit Arsenal continued to stride forwards thereafter, but Hinds was unable to find the net and then Vickers was called upon again to make a good stop from Jeff Reine-Adelaide.

Wilshere then had his first attempt of the game, with the England international shooting over the crossbar, but Swansea held on to go into the break in the ascendancy.

Once the second half got underway Arsenal immediately sought to reduce the deficit, with Hinds coming close to scoring.

Swansea continued to threaten, however, with Macey, who made some excellent saves against Derby, doing well to make two impressive stops on this occasion.

Rosicky then had a chance at the other end, but his effort was easily gathered by Vickers, who also had no problems in keeping out a further attempt from Gnabry.

Arsenal then made their first alteration, with schoolboy Reiss Nelson entering the fray in place of Chris Willock.

The Gunners continued to charge forwards, with full-back Marc Bola shooting wide and Swansea responded with a chance of their own as Maric came close to scoring.

In an eventful game Gnabry’s free-kick went just over the crossbar and Macey still had to be alert to make a good save. Arsenal were then handed a lifeline when Gnabry found the net with a powerful effort as the Gunners finally managed to get the better of Vickers.

That flicker of hope didn’t last for very long at all, however, as Swansea soon made it 3-1 through Alex Bray.

Swansea had another chance late on through Gorre, but the damage had already been done and thoughts will now start to turn to Monday night’s game.

Report- Hinds the hero as Arsenal U21s keep title dream alive with win over Derby

U21 Premier League

Derby County 1 (Vernam) Arsenal 2 (Mavididi, Hinds)

hinds

Zimbio.com

Kaylen Hinds emerged off the bench to score the winning goal for ten-man Arsenal U21s away to Derby County this evening to keep their hopes of securing the second division title alive.

Arsenal took the lead through Derby-born striker Stephy Mavididi, but the hosts equalised through Charles Vernam and were in the ascendancy following the dismissal of Ben Sheaf for two bookable offences.

However, Arsenal survived the Derby onslaught, with goalkeeper Matt Macey making several fine stops, before Hinds scored what could prove to be a crucial goal. Derby could have clinched the title themselves with a victory here, but instead the momentum is now with Arsenal.

Three points from their final two games- away to Swansea City and at home to West Bromwich Albion- will be sufficient to see Arsenal crowned champions of the second tier and earn promotion to the top flight of U21 football.

Coach Steve Gatting made several changes from the side that were so impressive against Newcastle United on Friday, with the first-team trio of Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Serge Gnabry not included. Chiori Johnson, Reiss Nelson and Chris Willock came into the starting line-up.

Macey

Johnson-Bielik-Pleguezuelo-M. Bola

Sheaf-Reine Adelaide

Nelson-Crowley-C. Willock

Mavididi

Subs: Hinds (for Mavididi, 46). Not used: Keto, Pileas, Robinson, DaSilva.

It was Derby who started the brightest, with Callum Guy and Kellan Gordon shooting wide, but Arsenal gradually started to assert themselves, with the lively Nelson doing well to find Mavididi, but the striker’s effort was saved.

2016-04-11 20_13_06-Derby County (@dcfcofficial) _ Twitter

Official Derby County

Dan Crowley, who was hugely impressive against Newcastle United, was next to try his luck and he came close to finding the net, with his effort shooting just wide.

Shortly afterwards Arsenal took the lead and Mavididi was the scorer as he burst forwards, showcased his technical ability and then finished calmly for his 11th goal of the season at this level.

Arsenal quickly set about attempting to extend their lead, with Nelson seeing his shot saved before Sheaf’s effort from distance was blocked.

Matters soon started to take a turn for the worse for both Sheaf and Arsenal, however, with the midfielder receiving a needless yellow card for kicking the ball away.

Derby then equalised in somewhat controversial fashion, with Vernam, who had just entered the fray as a substitute, finding the net and the goal eventually being awarded despite initially being declared offside.

Arsenal’s immediate task was to attempt to see out the half without suffering any further damage but they were unable to achieve that aim as Sheaf was dismissed for arguing with the referee.

Arsenal made an alteration at the start of the second half, with Hinds entering the fray in place of Mavididi.

It was Derby, though, who started the second half more impressively, which didn’t come as too much of a surprise given their numerical advantage. Macey had to be alert to thwart Will Hughes, before Ivan Calero came close to scoring with a free-kick.

The winger then caused problems for Arsenal again, but his powerful effort only hit the side-netting on this occasion.

Arsenal then had Macey to thank for making a superb stop to keep out Farren Drawson’s header following a well-taken free-kick from Calero.

Derby continued to dominate, with Jake Buxton heading wide, and at that stage it appeared a near certainty that it would be the hosts who would score next.

Instead, rather improbably, and completely against the run of play, it was Arsenal who took the lead, with Crowley doing well to find Hinds, whose shot went in via the crossbar.

Derby continued to threaten thereafter, with Guy coming close and Macey then had to make another impressive stop.

Willock then shot wide in a rare Arsenal attack, and, despite Derby having a late free-kick with goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell going up, the young Gunners managed to hold on for a potentially vital win.

Loan report- Debuchy and Maitland-Niles feature; Sanogo suffers injury 

  
Mathieu Debuchy returned from injury and played 81 minutes as Bordeaux drew 0-0 with Marseille. 

Wojciech Szczesny played the whole game as Roma beat Lazio 4-1. 

Yaya Sanogo started Charlton Athletic’s 2-1 defeat to QPR, but only lasted 34 minutes before being substituted due to injury. 

Ainsley Maitland-Niles returned to the Ipswich Town starting line up but was taken off at half-time in the 3-1 loss to Brentford. 

Wellington didn’t feature as Bolton Wanderers were thrashed 4-1 by Derby County; a result that saw the club relegated to League One. 

Gedion Zelalem was an unused substitute as Rangers thrashed Peterhead 4-0 to win the Petrofac Cup. 

Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden didn’t feature as Hull City drew 2-2 with Huddersfield Town. 

Emiliano Martinez was an unused substitute as Wolverhampton Wanderers drew 0-0 with Blackburn Rovers. 

Jon Toral was an unused substitute as Birmingham City beat Reading 2-0. 

Glen Kamara was an unused substitute as Southend drew 2-2 with Fleetwood.