Pre-Match Report

Under-21s: Newcastle v Arsenal - Preview

Hector Bellerin
Hector Bellerin

Arsenal Under-21s bring their campaign to an end on Friday with a trip north to play Newcastle.

The Gunners can finish no higher than 13th in the league, meaning they will play in the second tier of the Under-21 Premier League in the 2014/15 season.

Monday's defeat at home to league winners Chelsea replicated a lot of Arsenal's performances this season: in control for long periods but shipping goals at vital moments.

It's a habit Hector Bellerin says needs to be eradicated next season.

"To play eight games of professional football for Watford was amazing"

Hector Bellerin

"We were disappointed to lose because we were looking forward to playing at the Emirates," Bellerin told "We were playing really well in the first half so to lose at the end was hard to take."

Bellerin's goal gave Arsenal a deserved lead on Monday before strikes from Lewis Baker and Jonathan Swift turned the game in Chelsea's favour. Playing as a winger, the Spaniard was a constant threat in the first half and it was a role he enjoyed.

"It was good to be back playing in the position where I used to play when I was younger at Barcelona," he said. "Having Carl [Jenkinson] play behind me really helped because he was talking to me and we managed to get forward into some good positions in the first half. It's always nice to get on the scoresheet and the team was playing really well. We were pushing Chelsea back and were looking dangerous.

"I've trained a lot of times with Carl and we link up really well together and we were looking forward to playing together. In the second half I had to play right back and he had to play centre back because of the injuries which was a shame but I really enjoyed the first half."

Despite a tough campaign for the under-21s, it's been a season Bellerin will look back on with fondness after making his debut for the first team and impressing during a short loan spell with Watford.

13/14 Academy: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea - Hector Bellerin


"Personally it's been a really positive season," he said. "To play eight games of professional football for Watford was amazing and then to make my debut for the first team and get on the bench a few times was a big step for me and a great experience.

"When the season is done, I'm going to relax and go home to see my family and friends. We've got an under-19s game against Germany in the the second round of the European qualifiers. So hopefully I'll get to play against Serge but I'm already looking forward to next season."

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