Arsenal progressed to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup with a win over Middlesbrough, despite a big comeback scare from the u18 side.
The Arsenal u18s played their fifth round tie away to Middlesbrough on Friday. The impressive Emile Smith Rowe gave the Gunners the lead early on. It was the Englishman’s second goal in a week for the academy, after his curling effort caught fans’ eyes against Sunderland.
Then Tyreece John-Jules added another to his growing goal tally to make it 2-0. It was his 9th goal in 12 games this season (with one assist).
John-Jules also scored against Liverpool in the previous round, and the 16-year-old is certainly making an impression as he continues to work his way up the academy ranks.
We spoke to him last month about his encouraging season so far.
Unfortunately the home side managed to fight their way level. First Tyrone O’Neill pulled one back a few minutes before half-time. Then Nicholas Hood brought Boro level just before the break.
Smith Rowe made the difference again in the second half though. He made a pacy run at the defence and crossed dangerously to find Danny Ballard. The u18 captain turned home to put the Gunners back in the lead.
Smith Rowe almost scored again himself, but the Boro keeper saved well at the second time of asking. The game ended 3-2, and Arsenal will face the winner of Tuesday night’s match between Colchester United and Reading in the next round.
Meanwhile, the u23s don’t play until Monday, when they face Everton in their next Premier League 2 match.