Academy

Post-Match Report

Match report: Blackburn Rovers 2-3 Arsenal

Omari Hutchinson in action for Arsenal U-23

Blackburn U23 -

TBC
Premier League 2 - Division One
Premier League 2 - Division One
  Blackburn U23
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Blackburn U23
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  Arsenal U23
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Arsenal U23

WHAT HAPPENED

We were involved in yet another thriller as we beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2 with 10 men on Monday night.

Kevin Betsy's side went into the break two goals to the good, but the game changed early in the second half after Brooke Norton-Cuffy was shown a straight red card.

Blackburn pulled two goals back against our 10 men, before Folarin Balogun popped up with a dramatic late winner to earn us all three points.

We had the game's first real chance when Balogun tested Aynsley Pears with a fierce shot after some excellent work from Mika Biereth to set up his strike partner.

The home side had the ball in the net shortly after, Jared Harlock finishing a well-worked team move, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside.

Biereth opened the scoring for us midway through the first half, as Joel Lopez's cross fell kindly to the feet of our striker, who turned his man well in the box before firing low beyond Pears.

Omari Hutchinson double our lead on the stroke of half time, finding the top corner in stunning fashion from 25 yards out after receiving the ball just inside the Blackburn half.

The second half got off to a nightmare start, Norton-Cuffy being shown a straight red card for denying Blackburn a goalscoring opportunity with a deliberate handball.

The home side's onslaught eventually told against our 10 men midway through the second half, Sam Burns' initial effort hitting the post before Ovie Ejeheri could only parry the rebound into his own net.

Blackburn then drew level with 20 minutes to go, Connor McBride sending Ejeheri the wrong way from the spot after Zach Awe gave away the penalty.

Omar Rekik and Ejeheri performed heroics at the back to keep us level going into the final stages of the match.

Our captain Balogun then netted a dramatic winner against the run of play, finishing on the turn inside the box after Blackburn failed to clear our corner.

Ejeheri was forced into yet another remarkable save with seconds remaining, denying Burns from point-blank range, as we held on to earn all three points.

WHAT IT MEANS

The win sends Kevin Betsy's side top of the Premier League 2 table after 12 matches.

WHAT'S NEXT

We’re back in action on Friday, November 26, when we host Derby County at Meadow Park.

The match will kick-off at 7pm (UK).

Post-Match Report

Match report: Arsenal U-23s 3-5 Derby County

Folarin Balogun scoring for Arsenal under-23s

WHAT HAPPENED

Folarin Balogun scored a hat-trick but we were beaten 5-3 by Derby County in the Premier League 2 on Friday night.

Kevin Betsy's side could not take full control of the match against a Rams side that started the night bottom of the table.

We were punished for some early confusion at the back after just three minutes, Louie Sibley catching out Ovie Ejeheri with a strike at his near post.

Balogun drew us level six minutes later with a brilliant first-time finish, finding the top corner with a side-footed effort from just inside the box.

Our captain then gave us the lead midway through the first half, pouncing on a mistake in the Derby defence to collect the ball and score from close range.

The visitors drew level with 15 minutes left in the half after we failed to deal with a low cross and Luke Plange's effort deflected off James Olayinka and beyond Ejeheri.

We endured a nightmare start to the second half, Plange scoring in style from 20 yards just three minutes after the restart.

Derby extended their advantage soon afterwards, as Dixon raced in unmarked at the far post and headed home after Plange's shot was deflected high over Ejeheri.

Sibley scored the visitors’ fifth and his second of the game, spinning in behind our defence and firing into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Balogun completed his hat-trick in fine fashion, cutting in from the left, turning the Derby defence inside out, before curling one right into the top corner from 18 yards out.

Our captain's efforts were ultimately in vain as there was to be no comeback for us on this occasion.

WHAT IT MEANS

Defeat ends our four-match unbeaten run and sees us drop down to second place in the Premier League 2 table.

WHAT'S NEXT

We're back in action Monday, December 6, when we face Everton away.

The match will kick-off at 7pm (UK).

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