Arsenal’s u18s were knocked out of the Premier League Cup at the weekend, losing their semi-final 4-1 to Tottenham Hotspur.
Going into the game, the young Arsenal side should’ve felt pretty confident. After all, they were on a 13 game unbeaten run in all competitions, and beat Tottenham 6-0 in the league earlier in the season.
Unfortunately, just as with the first team, Spurs got some revenge at home.
Just three minutes into the game, Folarin Balogun opened the scoring for Arsenal. It was his seventh goal contribution in three games for the u18s (five goals, two assists), and further backed up the belief that he’ll be on the heels of the u23 players soon.
The lead didn’t last, however, as Paris Maghoma equalised before the first half was over. Balogun had another chance to restore the lead, but it remained 1-1 until the break.
In the second half, Reo Griffiths scored a hat-trick to put the game beyond Arsenal. Bukayo Saka hit the bar at 2-1, and that ended up being the turning point for the match as Tottenham ran away 4-1 winners.
Arsenal will now have to turn their attentions to the FA Youth Cup and their u18 Premier League campaign. The u18s are in the quarter-final of the cup, and are set to face Colchester United after Reading were removed from the competition over fielding an ineligible player.
In the league, the youngsters sit in second place, six points off Chelsea at the top of the table. There’s still time to turn that round in the final seven games, particularly as the top-two sides play each other at London Colney in a fortnight.
Hopefully they can rebuild their confidence in time for those key upcoming matches.
Line up: Virginia; Swanson, Clarke, Olowu, Thompson; M. Smith, Benson; Olayinka, McEneff, Coyle; Balogun
Subs: Barden, Spencer-Adams, Matthews, Beckford, Saka.