Post-Match Report

U21s report: Arsenal 3-5 Aston Villa

Amario Villa.png

Aston Villa U21 -

Mangata Pay UK Stadium, Meadow Park
Premier League 2 - Division One
Premier League 2 - Division One
  Arsenal U21
                  A. Borland (8 og)
                   E. Nwaneri (87
                   90 + 5)
Arsenal U21
A. Borland (8 og)
E. Nwaneri (87
90 + 5)
3 5
  Aston Villa U21
              K. Pierre (25
               K. Moore (39
               T. Patterson (45)
Aston Villa U21
K. Pierre (25 47) K. Moore (39 77) T. Patterson (45)

Our under-21s were beaten 5-3 at home to Aston Villa in Premier League 2 Division One on Monday night.

We took the lead early on by counter-attacking from a Villa free-kick with Ismeal Kabia charging down the right wing. He had Ethan Nwaneri in support and put the cross into the box, but it was touched in by Aidan Borland for an own goal.

Moments later, Nwaneri crossed for Jimi Gower and he and Nathan Butler-Oyedeji both had efforts at goal which James Wright kept out, before we did manage to get the ball across the line only for the flag to be raised for offside. Gower then crossed for Ismeal Kabia, who headed over the bar with his back to goal.

At the other end, Borland struck high over the bar from a Villa corner before the away side did find an equaliser when Tristan Rowe’s cross from the right was headed past Brian Okonkwo by Kyrie Pierre.

Kabia did will just beyond the half-hour mark to win the ball on the left near the halfway line and carry us forward to win a corner. Gower whipped it into the box and Butler-Oyedeji nodded it back across goal onto the roof of the net.

Gower headed wide of the post from a Jack Henry-Francis cross with half-time approaching, but Villa went ahead when Kobei Moore played a one-two with Rory Wilson and picked out the bottom right corner on the volley.

It was 3-1 in the first minute of added time at the end of the first half as Chisom Asoka’s cross came out to Travis Patterson, who cushioned it in at the far post.

Mehmet Ali made one change at half-time, replacing Myles Lewis-Skelly with Josh Nichols.

Villa increased their lead early in the second half, Borland pulling the ball back for Pierre to tuck in for 4-1.

Butler-Oyedeji took the ball in his stride and forced a save from Wright as we looked for a way back into the game before Amario Cozier-Duberry broke free and curled wide of the post.

Nwaneri's free-kick hit the Villa wall with just under half an hour to go, but he did well to control the re-bound and create an opening for a shot, forcing a good save from Wright who dived down to his right to concede a corner.

We made our second change in the 66th minute, Ismail Oulad M'Hand coming on for Gower.

Butler-Oyedeji almost pulled one back for us when he crashed the ball onto the post from close range and he continued to look the most likely as he saw another shot deflected wide for a corner.

Nwaneri fired just wide of the bottom right corner from the edge of the area as we continued to create chances, before Reuell Walters was on hand at the other end to clear Patterson's dangerous cross. Villa made it 5-1 regardless, Todd Alcock's corner finding Moore, who back-heeled it across the line.

Villa gave the ball away to Nichols in a dangerous area and his shot was deflected over the bar, but we did reduce the arrears with three minutes to go when Nwaneri curled in a beauty from distance, hitting the ball first time and picking out the top left corner for 5-2. 

Wright produced a great save to deny Cozier-Duberry as we hunted for another and we did make it 5-3 when, deep in stoppage time, Walters went on a solo run that allowed Kabia to cross for Nwaneri, who netted his brace at the end of a free-flowing move. It was his tenth goal in 11 PL2 fixtures this season.

The late comeback attempt was too little too late, however, as Villa held onto their two-goal lead.

What it means

We remain sixth in PL2 with 32 points from 18 games, while Villa climb to 18th.

What's next

We travel to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers on Monday, April 22, which is a 7pm kick-off in PL2.

Team sheet

Arsenal XI: Okonkwo, Sweet, Lewis-Skelly (Nichols 46), Walters, Heaven, Henry-Francis (C), Cozier-Duberry, Nwaneri, Butler-Oyedeji, Gower (Oulad M'Hand 66), Kabia.

Substitutes (not used): Ranson, Kamara, Robinson.

Aston Villa XI: Wright (C), Rowe, Patterson (Monroe 81), Katsukunya, Bogarde, Borland, Afoka (Young 66), Alcock, Moore (Lutz 81), Wilson, Pierre (Jimoh-Aloba 75).

Substitutes (not used): Emery, Young.

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