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‘We had to dig deep… it was a real test’


Steve Bould hailed his youngsters’ performance as we overcame an experienced Villarreal side on Wednesday night.

Goals from Nathan Tormey, Emile Smith Rowe and Trae Coyle secured an impressive Premier League International Cup win against a Yellow Submarine side, who play in the third tier of Spanish football.  

We spoke to Bould after the match and this is what he said:

on the performance…
I thought it was an excellent win, they were a very experienced side and they play in a proper league in Spain. They had a lot more older players than us who have experience in league football so it was a very tough game and they’re a good side, I know we won 3-0 but we had to really dig deep and I’m absolutely delighted with the performance.

on what we learned from the match…
They learned how to win games because they know every trick in the book and they’ve got far more experience than our lads so it was a real test and it was a proper football game.

on our defensive performance…
In all fairness I think they hit the post but apart from that I don’t think Karl Hein had to make too many saves. Another clean sheet gives us a real, proper performance against a very good side.

on the physical nature of the match…
I think our lads stood up in every level and they maybe had more possession than us so we had to work really hard, we kept them down to one, maybe two chances and then created quite a few chances ourselves. All round a good night for all of our players.

on the competition…
You can’t buy that experience. For us the more games we can play like today, the better. If we can get matches against teams with experience when we haven’t got a game on, we should be looking to play these kind of teams. It’s just a great experience for us.

Post-Match Report

Match report: Arsenal U-23s 3-1 Blackburn Rovers


We moved to the top of the Premier League 2 table with a 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers at Meadow Park on Friday night.

Trae Coyle, Zech Medley and Tyreece John-Jules were all on the scoresheet as Steve Bould’s side registered a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions.

The win sees us leapfrog Chelsea and Derby County to move one point clear at the summit of the table with a total of 23 points from the opening 12 games.

Our first chance of the evening came inside five minutes when Nathan Tormey broke down the wing and chipped a ball into Robbie Burton, who saw his volley from the edge of the box fly wide.

Chances were few and far between during the opening exchanges but we took the lead midway through the first half when Emile Smith Rowe collected a powerful header from Dinos Mavropanos. Smith Rowe then drove towards the box and played a great ball into Coyle, who kept his composure and slotted home.

We then doubled our advantage from a corner, with John-Jules seeing his header come back off the post before Medley reacted quickly to head home the rebound.

John-Jules made it three on the stroke of half-time when the ball broke to him just inside the box. The striker took a touch before drilling a powerful effort beyond the goalkeeper and into the roof of the net.

Smith Rowe came close to adding a fourth on the hour mark when a curling effort from the edge of the box flew wide of the post.

Coyle almost scored his second of the match when he brought the ball down inside the box and shifted onto his left foot, but his curling effort crashed against the crossbar.

However, the visitors pulled a goal back with 10 minutes left to play when Harry Chapman skipped past a challenge before firing beyond Matt Macey from inside the box.

Tormey almost made it four in injury time from a Coyle cut-back but was denied by the foot of the post.



Steve Bould’s side face Brighton away from home on Friday, December 13 at 7pm (UK time).

By Sam Cox