Arsenal’s u18s managed an emphatic win against Reading on Saturday, which was perhaps surprising given the circumstances of the victory.
For one thing, the u18s were coming off the back of a loss to Manchester United, throwing away a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3. So it was good to see the team back on track so impressively.
Arsenal 4-0 Reading
Fulham 3-0 Brighton
Middlesbrough 2-1 Wolves
Norwich 1-1 Southampton
Sunderland 3-2 Stoke
— PL Youth (@PLYouth) September 23, 2017
However, there were also a number of problems with the squad. Jeorge Bird reports that Daniel Ballard, Nathan Tormey, Jay Beckford, Xavier Amaechi, Daniel Barden, Jordan McEneff and Mark McGuinness are now all out injured.
In addition, captain Zech Medley, Joseph Olowu and the free-scoring Emile Smith Rowe were all left out, presumably so they can play some part in the u23 match on Monday. So it was a much-changed side that ended up taking to the field on Saturday.
That didn’t stop the young Gunners though, Daley-Campbell scored from long range in the first half, and after getting to half-time at 1-0 the team pushed on to secure the result in the second period.
16-year-old Folarin Balogun scored the second and fourth goals of the match, which brings him to four goals in five games in the current campaign.
His second goal may have had a bit of fortune about it, coming from a deflection, but the first showed how clinical he’s becoming, scoring from the edge of the 18-yard-box.
In between those goals, Tyreece John-Jules, who assisted Balogun’s first, scored himself to make it 3-0. Overall a much more positive result for the young side.
Virginia; Daley Campbell-Clarke-Omole-Thompson; Benson-M. Smith; Saka-John Jules-Olayinka; Balogun
Subs: Swanson (for Saka), Spencer-Adams (for Daley-Campbell).
Not used: T. Smith.