Loan report – Toral and Pleguezuelo feature; Crowley ends Go Ahead Eagles spell

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Wojciech Szczesny played the full 90 minutes as Roma beat Juventus 3-1.

Calum Chambers played the whole game as Middlesbrough lost 2-1 to Southampton.

Ismael Bennacer played the entirety of Tours’ 4-0 defeat to Le Havre.

Julio Pleguezuelo played the full game as Mallorca lost 2-1 to Real Valladolid.

Jon Toral played 73 minutes as Rangers beat Hearts 2-1.

Takuma Asano was an un-used substitute as Stuttgart lost 1-0 to Hannover 96.

Joel Campbell wasn’t involved as Sporting Lisbon lost 2-1 to Feirense.

Dan Crowley wasn’t involved as Go Ahead Eagles lost 3-1 to Sparta Rotterdam. He made 16 appearances for the club, scoring twice.

Jack Wilshere missed out through injury as Bournemouth beat Burnley 2-1.

Aaron Eyoma‘s Volendam didn’t have a game this weekend but the winger has been impressing for the club’s B team in the fourth tier of Dutch football.

Kelechi Nwakali‘s Maastricht didn’t have a game this weekend.



Report – Malen scores but Arsenal U18s are held by West Ham in enthralling draw

U18 Premier League

Arsenal 3 (Malen 34, J. Willock (pen) 54, Ballard 67) West Ham United 3 (Henry (pen) 42, Alese 73, Scully 90)


Arsenal U18s concluded their season with an enthralling 3-3 draw at home to West Ham United today.

Despite taking the lead on three separate occasions, Arsenal were unable to hold on for victory, with Anthony Scully striking late to secure a point for the visitors.

The young Gunners went into the game knowing that their title hopes were already over after Chelsea were crowned champions last night, but Kwame Ampadu’s team were still determined to finish the campaign strongly.

Ampadu made several alterations to his team, with Alex Crean, Daniel Ballard, Charlie Gilmour, Donyell Malen and Robbie Burton coming in for Joao Virginia, Joseph Olowu, Marcus McGuane, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson.


Osei Tutu-Ballard-Medley-T. Bola


Dragomir-Burton-J. Willock


Subs: Benson (for Burton, 71), Thompson (for Dragomir, 82), Omole (for T. Bola, 86). Not used: Virginia, Beckford.

The game took a while to come into life but Arsenal managed to take the lead in the 34th minute when Joe Willock found Donyell Malen, who opened the scoring on his final appearance at this level.

The lead lasted for just eight minutes, however, as Korrey Henry pulled West Ham level from the penalty spot before half-time.

Willock, who has been in sensational form of late, proceeded to make it 2-1 early in the second half with a penalty of his own and then Arsenal looked in pole position to take all three points when Ballard scored his first goal for the U18s.

West Ham showed excellent resilience to bounce back, though, with Ajibola Alese and then Scully getting on the scoresheet in a frantic finale.

Arsenal finish second and will be frustrated to have missed out on winning the title, but they have still performed significantly better overall than they did last season.


Nketiah strikes but loss to Chelsea dents Arsenal U18s’ title hopes 

U18 Premier League

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. 

Report – Nelson and Nketiah score as Arsenal U23s surrender lead to draw with Manchester United

Premier League 2

Arsenal 2 (Nelson 33, Nketiah 36) Manchester United 2 (Harrop 72, Johnson o.g. 83)

By Jeorge Bird @ Emirates Stadium


Arsenal U23s surrendered a two-goal lead to end up drawing with their Manchester United counterparts at Emirates Stadium tonight in their final game of the season.

The young Gunners produced an attacking masterclass in the first half and went 2-0 up courtesy of goals from Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah, both of which were teed up by the sprightly Cohen Bramall.

However, Nelson and Nketiah were withdrawn at the break with tomorrow’s important U18 game against Chelsea in mind and Arsenal struggled without their two star players.

United grew in confidence and, despite Matt Macey making several fine stops, the visitors eventually reduced the deficit through a fine strike from Josh Harrop. Nicky Butt’s team continued to pour forwards and eventually got their reward with Chiori Johnson inadvertently turning the ball into his own net.

Arsenal had squandered an inviting opportunity to re-assert themselves when it was 2-1, with substitute Donyell Malen missing a penalty that he had won himself.

The result means that Arsenal will finish fourth in Premier League 2.

With several U18 players rested ahead of the Chelsea game, tonight’s team had a rather unusual look to it. Johnson started in the unfamiliar position of centre-back, while Glen Kamara and Savvas Mourgos were brought in for rare and potentially final appearances for the club.

United, meanwhile, included Matty Willock, brother of Arsenal duo Chris and Joe, in their starting line-up, along with Scott McTominay, who featured in the Premier League meeting between these clubs yesterday.



Maitland Niles-Kamara

Mourgos-Nelson-C. Willock


Subs: J. Willock (for Nelson, 46), Malen (for Nketiah, 46), Dragomir (for Mourgos, 84). Not used: Keto, Olowu.

Rather like the first-team game the previous day, this encounter got off to a slow and rather uneventful start.

It soon came to life. Macey had to be alert to prevent United from taking the lead, while at the other end Ainsley Maitland-Niles almost picked out the on-rushing Mourgos, who was caught offside.

Soon Arsenal started to establish control. Firstly Bramall saw his cross gathered, then Nketiah came close, with Mourgos subsequently dragging an effort wide.

United posed a threat themselves, with Matty Willock shooting wide after impressive work from Matthew Olosunde, but it was clear that Arsenal were in the ascendancy.

Nketiah and Maitland-Niles both sent efforts wide but then the deadlock was finally broken.

Chris Willock did extremely well to create an opening, with the winger finding Bramall, who crossed for Nelson to make it 1-0.

Just three minutes later Arsenal were celebrating again and Bramall was the architect once more.

Bramall has come some way from working in a Bentley factory and the 21-year-old motored down the left flank prior to sending in a precise delivery, which the clinical Nketiah latched onto.

Nketiah’s sweet strike got the better of O’Hara, but the striker didn’t emerge for the second half as he and Nelson were replaced by Joe Willock and Malen.

Joe Willock was eager to impress and made some dangerous bursts forward, but United were gradually growing in confidence, with Jenkinson having to make an important defensive intervention before Macey made two stunning saves in quick succession to keep out Matty Willock’s stinging drive and Olosunde’s powerful header.

He was helpless, however, to stop Harrop’s precise strike, which gave United a foothold in the game.

Arsenal, though, had a chance to instantly restore their two-goal cushion when Malen won a penalty after he was brought down following an instinctive turn.

The striker, unfortunately, wasn’t able to find the net from the spot, with O’Hara making a very good save.

United were suddenly a major threat down the other end, with belief coursing through their veins.

Macey tried his utmost to preserve Arsenal’s lead and made two more great saves but the pressure was relentless and United equalised through an effort that deflected in off Johnson.

Arsenal threw on Vlad Dragomir as they sought to reclaim the lead and the midfielder very nearly made an instant impact, seeing his effort repelled by O’Hara.

Maitland-Niles and Malen had further chances but failed to take them and that was that, both for the game and the season.

Finishing fourth is rather impressive when it appeared that relegation was a genuine possibility earlier in the campaign, while excellent progress has been made this season by the likes of Nketiah, Nelson and Ben Sheaf.

There will surely be departures in the summer but it is just hoped that Chris and Joe Willock, who are both coming to the end of their contracts, are not amongst them.

Loan report – Bielik helps Birmingham stay up; Bennacer assists

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Ismael Bennacer set up a goal and played 80 minutes as Tours beat Laval 3-1.

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

Krystian Bielik was brought on in the 69th minute as Birmingham City beat Bristol City 1-0 to stay in the Championship. The Polish youngster made ten appearances during his loan spell.

Dan Crowley played the full game as Go Ahead Eagles lost 4-0 to Ajax.

Julio Pleguezuelo played the whole game and was booked as Mallorca beat Elche 1-0.

Joel Campbell came on in the 68th minute as Sporting Lisbon lost 3-1 against Belenenses.

Kelechi Nwakali came on in the 68th minute as Maastricht drew 1-1 with Waalwijk.

Marc Bola was introduced in the 58th minute as Notts County lost 2-1 to Newport County. He made 13 appearances for the club.

Tafari Moore played the whole game as Utrecht II beat Emmen 3-0.

Takuma Asano was an un-used substitute as Stuttgart beat Erzgebirge 3-0.

Chuba Akpom wasn’t involved as Brighton & Hove Albion drew 1-1 with Aston Villa. He made ten appearances for the club but failed to find the net.

Gedion Zelalem wasn’t involved as VVV-Venlo beat Telstar 2-1. He played nine times for the club, scoring once.

Aaron Eyoma wasn’t involved as Volendam lost 3-0 to Fortuna Sittard.

Kaylen Hinds wasn’t involved as Stevenage lost 3-0 to Accrington Stanley. He played 13 times for the League One side.

Jack Wilshere missed out through injury as Bournemouth drew 2-2 with Stoke City.

Jon Toral didn’t feature in Rangers’ 2-1 win against Partick Thistle because of injury.

Calum Chambers is expected to feature when Middlesbrough face Chelsea away tomorrow night.




Injured Mavididi given green light to take full part in pre-season training


Arsenal striker Stephy Mavididi has been given the go ahead to play a full part in pre-season training in July.

The 18-year-old suffered a torn hamstring in March while on loan at Charlton Athletic and subsequently returned to Arsenal for treatment having been ruled out for 14 to 16 weeks.

Mavididi is now nearing entering the latter stages of his recovery process and will hope to be fully fit to participate in pre-season.

A player who boasts a considerable amount of experience playing for Arsenal at youth level, he caught the eye at Charlton and could be sent out on loan again next season. He was on the bench for Arsenal in the EFL Cup earlier this campaign.


Experienced youngsters playing key part for Arsenal U18s in title challenge

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Over the last seven years Arsenal have endured a catalogue of frustrating results at U18 level, with the young Gunners often struggling defensively.

While they still can’t be described as being resolute at the back, Arsenal U18s have performed significantly better overall this campaign and are just two victories away from being crowned league champions.

What has been the reason for this change in fortunes? The main factor is certainly the club’s decision to field very strong lineups at this level.

Whereas previously Arsenal U18s often included many first-years and schoolboys in their team, this campaign coach Kwame Ampadu has frequently called upon several second-years, many of whom boast a considerable amount of experience of playing at U23 and U19 levels.

There have also been some stunning individual contributions this campaign. Eddie Nketiah’s prolific nature in front of goal has been well documented, and the striker has certainly caught the eye, scoring 14 times

Joe Willock, meanwhile, has really stepped up this season, with the creative starlet dominating games and playing some exquisite passes.

Midfielder Charlie Gilmour also deserves credit for performing consistently since his return from injury, while full-backs Jordi Osei-Tutu and Tolaji Bola have contributed to the attacking cause.

With the title up for grabs, Ampadu has drafted in some U23 regulars in recent weeks, including Reiss Nelson, who scored a hat-trick in the thrashing of Blackburn Rovers.

Players such as Donyell Malen, Marcus McGuane and Josh Dasilva have also impressed, while Arsenal’s squad has been so strong recently that Yassin Fortune and Vlad Dragomir, two very highly regarded talents, were only on the bench against Manchester United yesterday.

As a consequence of this selection policy, many first-years have missed out on game time. Goalkeeper Joao Virginia, defenders Joseph Olowu, Zech Medley and Daniel Ballard and winger Emile Smith-Rowe have been heavily involved but a whole host of players – Tobi Omole, Josh Benson, Robbie Burton, Dominic Thompson, Jay Beckford and the injured Nathan Tormey – haven’t been key figures this season, although that should change next season when they will form part of a new look U18 side.

For now, though, the focus is on the current crop and victories against Chelsea and West Ham United would seal the title and cap off an impressive season for Ampadu’s team.