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Post-Match Report

U-23s: Arsenal 4-0 Liverpool: How it happened

Liverpool Under 23 -

Meadow Park
Premier League 2 - Division One
Premier League 2 - Division One
  Arsenal U23
      
                  Saka (22)
                   Nketiah (25
                   90)
                   Willock (79)
            
   crest
Arsenal U23
Saka (22)
Nketiah (25
90)
Willock (79)
4 0
  Liverpool Under 23
   crest
Liverpool Under 23

HOW IT HAPPENED

Our under-23s extended their unbeaten run to five Premier League 2 fixtures on Friday night as they beat Liverpool 4-0 at Meadow Park.

The visitors had the first sight of goal, when Adam Lewis stepped up for a free-kick from 20 yards and fired his curling effort wide of the post.

Moments later Bobby Adekanye cut in from the right wing and tried his luck from the edge of the box, but Deyan Iliev was equal to his left-footed strike.

Liverpool continued to push forward as they looked for an opener, but this provided us with space to attack - and in the 22nd minute Bukayo Saka broke the deadlock with his first goal at under-23 level. 

The 17-year-old linked-up with Eddie Nketiah on the counter and charged into the box, before firing into the bottom right corner with a composed finish.

And less than two minutes later, Nketiah found the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season. Pressing from the front, Nketiah forced a mistake out of the Liverpool defence and pounced on a loose ball to double our advantage with a simple finish.  

Tyreece John-Jules then fired wide from close range, before forcing a stunning save out of Kamil Grabara on the stroke of half-time.

Nketiah started brightly once again after the break and found a yard of space inside the box, but his low driven effort was turned behind for a corner.

The visitors came close to pulling one back on the hour mark when Adekanye fired into what looked like an open goal, but Daniel Ballard slid in to make an exceptional goal line clearance. 

Nketiah then came close with two strikes in quick succession, before Joe Willock made it three in the 79th minute. Saka received the ball on the left wing and played Willock in on goal, who made no mistake in finding the bottom right corner with a composed finish.

Nketiah continued to threat, though, and deep into stoppage time he received the ball inside the box, turned his marker and found the back of the net with a drilled strike past Grabara.

WHAT’S NEXT

Our under-23s must now turn their attention to their Premier League 2 clash with Leicester City on Monday, October 1.

The game will take place at Holmes Park with kick-off at 7pm (UK time).

Post-Match Report

U-23s: Leicester 1-2 Arsenal - How it happened

HOW IT HAPPENED

We climbed up to second in the Premier League 2 table on Monday as we ran out 2-1 winners over an experienced Leicester City side.

We started on the front foot and were quick to create a number of half chances. Daniel Ballard’s looping header was claimed well by Eldin Jakupovic, before Tyreece John-Jules’ fizzed effort went narrowly over the bar.

We continued to apply pressure on the Foxes, though, and in the 20th minute Tobi Omole opened the scoring from a well worked set-piece. Robbie Burton received the ball on the touchline and delivered a chipped pass into the box, where Omole was waiting to apply the finishing touch.

Moments later Leicester’s Callum Wright checked in on his right foot and fired over the crossbar, before John-Jules found himself through on goal but couldn’t finish past the onrushing Jakupovic.

With 15 minutes remaining of the first half, however, Wright picked up the ball inside the box and delivered a curling right-footed effort into the top corner.

Bukayo Saka then raced through on goal and looked set to restore our lead before the half-time whistle, but his driven effort was kept out by the Foxes goalkeeper.

Following the break, it was the hosts who started stronger. Tolaji Bola was forced into a stunning last-ditch tackle on Josh Knight, before Fousseni Diabate’s dipping free-kick almost snuck past Deyan Iliev.

The Foxes continued to push forward in numbers but we remained a threat on the break - and following a darting run into the box, Bola forced a foul and handed us the opportunity to restore our lead. Burton stepped up from 12 yards and made no mistake.

The home side threatened right up until the final whistle, but our defence stood strong to extend our unbeaten run to six PL2 fixtures.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN

We’ve climbed up to second in the PL2 table, trailing league leaders Everton by goal difference only.

PL2 table

WHAT’S NEXT

We next face Everton on Monday, October 22.

The game will take place at Meadow Park with kick-off at 7pm (UK time)

Interview

Saka How I’ve adapted to playing wing-back

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka made his first start in the Premier League 2 on Monday as our rotated under-23s held Blackburn Rovers to a goalless draw at Ewood Park. 

The 17-year-old had impressed off the bench in each of our last four outings - and on Monday night Freddie Ljungberg selected him to start as a left wing-back.

“It’s a new formation that the manager is playing so I’ve just had to adapt to it,” Saka told Arsenal Player.

“Anywhere I can play in the team, I’m happy to do it. If we continue playing this formation then I just want to master it so that I can get up and down as a fullback, get my fitness going, get crosses in, and record assists and goals. I just want to assist and score goals for the team.”

Saka was playing for the under-18s as a schoolboy last season, but he’s made a promising start to life under Ljungberg, claiming two assists in 172 minutes.

“It’s been tough because I’ve had to get used to the intensity because it’s much higher, but that’s why I’ve been working and working everyday at the training ground. I’m ready for it,” added Saka. 

Freddie’s taught me a lot because he was a winger, so he’s added a lot of stuff into my game, like how to press, how to make runs in behind and it’s really helping me.”

Post-Match Report

U-18s: Arsenal 1-0 Saints: How it happened

HOW IT HAPPENED

Sam Greenwood scored his first goal for our under-18s on Saturday as we ran out 1-0 winners over Southampton at London Colney.

We started brightly but it was the visitors who carved open the game’s first golden opportunity.

Jack Bycroft played an inch-perfect pass into path of Enzo Robise on the right wing. Zak Swanson tracked the long ball and attempted to dispossess the Southampton winger, but he mistimed his challenge and the referee pointed to the spot.

Robise stepped up to take responsibility from 12 yards, but Arthur Okonkwo produced a stunning diving save to keep the score level.

Kornelius Hansen’s fizzed effort from the edge of the box then sailed past the post, before Robis failed to hit the target with a right-footed stike from inside the six-yard box.

But Southampton would go in at the break ruing their missed chances, thanks to Greenwood’s fine finish on the stroke of half-time. Our 16-year-old forward received the ball on the edge of the box from a floated corner delivery, took a touch, and found the bottom left corner with a powerful half-volley.

We emerged as the stronger side in the opening exchanges of the second half, only for Swanson to see red on the hour mark for a second bookable offence.

The Saints went on to apply pressure for the remaining half an hour, with Chris Norton coming closest for the visitors from six-yards out - but Mark McGuinness was there to make a goal-line clearance and secure our fourth win from five U-18 Premier League fixtures.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN

We’ve climbed up to second in the U-18 PL on 12 points, just one point away from league leaders Tottenham Hotspur.  

U-18 PL table

WHAT’S NEXT

We now turn our attentions to our U-18 PL clash with Norwich City on Saturday. 

The game will take place at London Colney with kick-off at 12pm (UK time).