Post-Match Report

U18s: Arsenal 1-3 Norwich City - Report

Norwich City U18 -

Shenley Training Centre
Premier League U18
Premier League U18
  Arsenal U18
                  Josh Dasilva (58)
Arsenal U18
Josh Dasilva (58)
1 3
  Norwich City U18
              0 (25 pen
Norwich City U18
0 (25 pen 29 88)
(Behind closed doors, invitation only)

Krystian Bielik made his first appearance for Arsenal as the under-18s lost 3-1 against Norwich City.

Todd Cantwell put the visitors ahead from the spot and George Couzons doubled their advantage before the break.

Josh Da Silva then pulled one back after half-time with a superb solo goal but Dexter Peter secured all three points for the visitors with an 88th-minute header.

Frans de Kat made seven changes to the team that lost 4-1 against Tottenham Hotspur.

Ryan Huddart replaced Hugo Keto in goal while Renny Smith partnered Tolaji Bola at centre back at the expense of Kristopher Da Graca and Owen Moore returned in favour of Marc Bola.

Bielik’s introduction saw Ben Sheaf drop to the bench while regulars Aaron Eyoma, Chris Willock and Tyrell Robinson returned from Youth Cup action to complete the changes.

Arsenal looked to have learnt from the fourth-round defeat against Crewe Alexandra and started on the front foot. Willock dispossessed Peter to release Da Silva whose powerful strike was tipped over by Aston Oxborough.

Robinson then stole the ball from Kofi Boateng, drove towards the box, played a one-two with Bielik and then fired a low shot off the post.

The Gunners were made to rue their missed chances when Couzons went down under Harry Donovan’s challenge and Cantwell calmly sent Huddart the wrong way from the spot.

Norwich soon had a second when Bielik was dispossessed on the edge of the box. The visitors worked it wide to Harley Black whose low shot deflected into the path of Couzons for the forward to tap in from close range.

Arsenal threatened back and carved out one last chance before the break. Ilias Chatzitheodoridis’ cross ran all the way through to Robinson who set up Donovan but the midfielder smashed well over.

The Gunners found their goal just after the hour mark through a moment of magic by Da Silva. The forward raced onto Chatzitheodoridis’ long ball, cut in from the left and rifled an unstoppable 20-yard strike into the top corner.

Bielik was withdrawn with 60 minutes under his belt and his replacement, Sheaf, almost made an instant impact. The midfielder won the ball back on the halfway line to release Savvas Mourgos who fed Da Silva, and the forward cannoned a low strike off the far post.

But the Gunners’ hopes of salvaging a point were dashed late on when Peter headed a deep free-kick past Huddart to secure all three points for Norwich.

“The first half they deserved to take the lead although I don’t think it was a penalty,” De Kat said after the game. “We had a few problems with the midfield diamond but we changed it at half-time and the second half was much better.”

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