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Post-Match Report

U-23s: Derby 5-0 Arsenal - How it happened

Derby County Under 23 -

Loughborough University Stadium
Premier League 2 - Division One
Premier League 2 - Division One
  Derby County Under 23
              G. Thorne (25 pen)
               C. Cresswell (48)
               J. Knight (72)
               Sibley (77
Derby County Under 23
G. Thorne (25 pen) C. Cresswell (48) J. Knight (72) Sibley (77 90)
5 0
  Arsenal U23
Arsenal U23


Laurent Koscielny played 45 minutes on his return from injury on Monday night as our under-23s were beaten 5-0 by Derby County.

Lining up with three at the back, there were few chances in the opening exchanges as both sides battled hard for possession in midfield.

Tyreece John-Jules eventually found an opening on the edge of the box, but his goalbound effort was cleared to safety, before Derby’s Louie Sibley rattled the crossbar from 20 yards. 

Daniel Ballard and Koscielny continued to clear every cross that came their way, but it was the hosts who opened the scoring. Tolaji Bola brought down Jayden Lawson inside the box - and George Thorne made no mistake from 12 yards. 

We came close to an instant response when Cohen Bramall delivered a dangerous ball across the face of goal into the path of Trae Coyle, but his goalbound effort was cleared off the line. 

Koscielny saw plenty of the ball in the first half and made a number of probing passes - but our skipper was replaced at the break by Jordi Osei-Tutu, who was also making his return from injury.

Freddie Ljungberg would have hoped to see more from his side in the final third after the interval, but just two minutes in the Rams had doubled their advantage through Cameron Cresswell.

Shortly after there was a five-minute spell of chaos as three players were dismissed by the referee.

Osei-Tutu and George Thorne were sent off in the 55th minute for an altercation - and less than five minutes later Daniel Ballard also saw red for a lunge.

It was a frustrating evening for us and we went on to concede three more. Jason Knight fired a first-time effort into the top right corner, before Sibley scored twice from close range. 


We remain in sixth place in the PL2 table 

PL2 table


Our next PL2 fixture is against Liverpool on Saturday, December 8.

The game will take place at Liverpool FC Academy with kick-off at 3pm (UK time).


‘Koscielny did really well on his return’


Laurent Koscielny made his long-awaited return from injury on Monday night as our under-23s were beaten by Derby County.

The France international was substituted at the break while we were trailing by a single goal - but Freddie Ljungberg believes thatplaying alongside our club captain will be a valuable learning experience for his young defenders.

on the first-half performance…
It was okay. We were a little bit off and we’d made a lot of changes because there are games coming up in the week, but it was okay. We unfortunately conceded a goal that was a little bit rash in the tackle, but we created some chances and at half time we thought there were certain things that we could make difficult for Derby. But we got a sending off after a few minutes so that ended the game a little bit, so that’s a bit sad.

on what his players will learn from playing with Koscielny…
Of course it’s great - and especially so because Koscielny came through it. He looked okay afterwards so that’s a great positive for the club. The players will learn a lot from him and you can see that we dominated possession and we held the ball quite well in the first half, so it’s just unfortunate that we gave away the penalty. I thought he did really well and I’m happy that he feels okay.

on our slow start after the break…
They took Jordi [Osei-Tutu] by the throat and then he got sent off for some reason. It became a bit itchy after that and then Danny [Ballard] got a sending off, which is a bit sad. And then after that obviously with nine men we had to sit back and try to defend as good as we could. Unfortunately the scoreline got out of hand and in my opinion it got too big, but it’s not everyday that you get two men sent off.

on what was missing in the final third…
I think what we were missing is quite clear. They played very high in their press and we talked about it beforehand. They play man for man in the back and with pace up front we could do them a little bit, but we didn’t have much pace today as we normally have - and I thought we could have hurt them a bit more. They were on the front foot and did well and hopefully next time we will hurt them a bit more.

on what he can learn from the game…
I’m very disappointed after a day like that. In the end we just had to sit in two blocks of four and try to stop the scoreline from getting too far out of hand. The players had to work on that and not allowing too many split passes, and we said in the dressing room that there was a game before the sending off and a game after the second half. We’re mostly going to look at the game before the sending off and it was okay. We thought at half-time that with some changes we could change the game, but unfortunately we never had that opportunity.

Post-Match Report

U-18s: Tottenham 3-2 Arsenal - How it happened

Balogun in action


Our under-18s’ five-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday as they slipped to a 3-2 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur.

Full of confidence at the top of the table, we made a dream start to the game when Folarin Balogun opened the scoring inside three minutes.

Sam Greenwood received the ball on the left wing and danced past two defenders, before picking out Balogun inside the box, who shifted the ball onto his left foot and rifled the ball in off the crossbar. 

The remaining exchanges of the first half proved to be a midfield battle with chances coming few and far between, but on the stroke of half-time Jubril Okedina leapt high inside the box to head home for the hosts. 

We’d been caught off guard in defence - and less than 10 minutes after the break, Tottenham struck again.

Jeremie Mukendi slipped Rayan Clarke through on goal and the 17-year-old found the top right corner with a curling effort.

We had a golden opportunity to level the scores from the spot when Balogun was tripped by Joshua Oluwayemi inside the box - but Matt Smith’s low drive was pushed to safety. 

Harvey White then furthered Tottenham’s advantage with a free-kick that fizzed through a crowd of bodies, before Balogun gave us a lifeline in the 77th minute.

The 17-year-old lost his marker inside the box and fizzed a shot across the face of goal, forcing Dennis Cirkin to inadvertently bundle the ball into his own net.

We looked set to complete the comeback when Balogun went down under the challenge of Luis Binks and the referee pointed to the spot - but Sam Greenwood’s penalty was saved by Oluwayemi. 


We’ve dropped down to second in the U-18 Premier League

U18 PL table


Our next game is against Fulham on Saturday, December 1.

The game will take place behind closed doors at London Colney with kick-off at 11am (UK time).