Arsenal played their first match of the FA Youth Cup this week, beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 to progress to the next round where they will face Liverpool.
The Gunners were drawn against Sheffield Wednesday at home, but a slight setback before kick-off saw the omission of Reiss Nelson from the line-up.
Although Nelson is still eligible for the competition, it seems he’s truly moved on to the higher levels of football now, so he’ll be available for the u23s on Friday against Derby County. He stands a chance of making the first-team’s matchday squad on the weekend.
Nonetheless, the Arsenal u18s have been in fantastic form lately, winning their last five matches in a row. In particular, Tyreece John-Jules and Xavier Amaechi have both been scoring goals for fun.
It was Amaechi who opened the scoring against Wednesday, picking up a Robbie Burton through ball and placing it past the keeper.
The 16-year-old then doubled their lead with another good finish, making it six goals in five games, with the Gunners going in 2-0 up at half-time.
In the second half, Joao Virginia was called upon multiple times to help keep Sheffield Wednesday out, and John-Jules hit the post as he failed to add to his own impressive tally.
Late on, Wednesday did manage to breach Virginia’s resistance, scoring a header from a corner, but the Gunners held out for the 2-1 win.
In the next round, Arsenal’s u18s will face Liverpool, managed by former captain of the senior team, Steven Gerrard.
Starting XI: Virginia; Daley Campbell, Ballard, Medley, Thompson; Benson, M. Smith; Amaechi, Burton, Smith Rowe; John-Jules.
Subs: Saka (for Smith Rowe), Coyle (for Benson), Omole (for M. Smith).
Not used: Balogun, Okonkwo.