Post-Match Report

U18s report: Arsenal 5-2 Chelsea

chido

Chelsea U18 -

Sobha Realty Training Centre
U18 Premier League South
U18 Premier League South
  Arsenal U18
      
                  C. Obi (16 pen
                   85
                   90 + 12 pen)
                   M. Dowman (65)
                   D. Oyetunde (81)
            
   crest
Arsenal U18
C. Obi (16 pen
85
90 + 12 pen)
M. Dowman (65)
D. Oyetunde (81)
5 2
  Chelsea U18
      
              S. Mheuka (34)
               F. Runham (56)
          
   crest
Chelsea U18
S. Mheuka (34) F. Runham (56)

Jack Wilshere's young Gunners ended their season on a high with a commanding 5-2 victory over league leaders Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.

We began the game with energy, pressing high up the pitch and quickly gaining possession. However, Chido Martin Obi's two early attempts narrowly missed the target, denying us an early breakthrough.

Fifteen minutes into the game, Max Dowman set up Martin Obi, who was then fouled by Olutayo Subuloye inside the penalty area. Obi calmly stepped up and dispatched the penalty into the bottom corner, giving us the lead.

We continued to press for a second goal, with Cam'ron Ismail finding Theo Julienne on the edge of the box, but the latter’s shot was denied by Luke Campbell in the Chelsea goal. 

However, the visitors drew level against the run of play when Shumaira Mhueka caught Owen Asemota off his line and found the back of the net before the interval.

After the break, Michal Rosiak played a lovely ball to Andre Annous but the winger couldn’t convert his chance.

However, it was the visitors who managed to break the deadlock shortly after, with Frankie Runham applying the finishing touch to a Chelsea counterattack.

Just ten minutes later, we found the equaliser when Martin Obi fed the ball to Dowman on the edge of the box. With clinical precision, the midfielder levelled the score for us.

We took the lead in the closing stages when Daniel Oyetunde, who had just come off the bench moments earlier, showed incredible persistence to close down the keeper and as a result the ball ricocheted off him into the back of the net.

Martin Obi sealed our season finale with a flourish, netting two late goals to secure his hat-trick. His first came from a well-executed header off Rosiak's corner. Then, Martin Obi calmly converted from the spot after Dan Casey was fouled, capping off the season with a perfect ending for us.

 

What it means

The result means we finish the 2023/24 season in third place in the table with 47 points from 24 league games.

 

Team news

Arsenal XI: Asemota, Ibrahim (Shuaib, 57), Rosiak, Sweet, Ismail (Kuczynski, 88), Julienne, Copley, Dudziak, Dowman (Casey, 88), Annous (Oyetunde, 67), Martin Obi

Subs not used: Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

Video

Jack on a strong second season with the under-18s

Arsenal under-18s head coach, Jack Wilshere, reflected on a strong second season at the helm of his young side after they ended their 2023/24 campaign with a 5-2 win over league leaders Chelsea on Saturday afternoon. 

Chido Martin Obi's hat-trick, along with goals from Daniel Oyetunde and Max Dowman, capped off our season in style.

"I thought we deserved it. In the first half, we were the better team clearly. You always know that when you dominate a game that much in the first half they will change something in the second half, and it took us a little bit of time to adapt on the pitch and we went 2-1 down. But, I’ve said it before, this team has the character to come back, and overall, I thought we deserved it."

Jack spoke highly of striker Martin Obi, who capped off an outstanding season with a hat-trick and ends his campaign with 32 goals scored.

"He’s been exceptional. I’ve said it before but credit to everyone at the club and at Hale End for the work that they have done with him. He’s adapted so well, helped the team massively at times. Also, credit to his teammates too because they serve him so well, and he’s grateful for that."

Reflecting on the overall season, Jack said, “At the start of this year, first game of the season, we played West Ham, who we lost to in the FA Youth Cup final just months earlier, and we won that game and we felt good. But then, we suffered and couldn’t convert the chances we were creating. Part of developing and becoming a football player is learning how to suffer. Our job as a coaching staff is to help them overcome that and fight for one another. But it was a really good season.”

As he reflects on his second season in charge, Jack reflected on his growth in the role. “When I look back to when I first came in to the job until now I knew nothing. But a huge credit must go to Per Mertesacker, Luke Hobbs, Adam Pilling, Adam Birchall, Chris Terpcou all the people that have helped me and so many others.”

“I’ve learnt a lot about people and the type of characteristics you need in a winning team and I am just so grateful for that and I’m looking forward to learning more and I’m hungry to get better.”

He concluded by highlighting Harrison Dudziak and Michal Rosiak’s contributions as they’ll transition to the under-21s next season.

“They’ve been exceptional in terms of reflecting the Arsenal values, and they live it every single day. It’s been tough for them at times seeing other players get called up for the under-21s, but even though they’ve been in the under-18s, they’ve remained professional, and they’re the glue of the team. They’ve kept the unity there, and I’m happy for them and wish them all the best going into the under-21s next year. I’ll miss them.”

 

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