Bukayo Saka scored his fifth goal in four 2019 starts for the Arsenal academy on Saturday, but he couldn’t prevent the young side crashing out of the FA Youth Cup in disappointing fashion.
After seeing off U18 Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 in the last round, Arsenal were dealt a shock blow by West Bromwich Albion. The visitors knocked them out of the FA Youth Cup with a surprising 2-1 victory.
Arsenal had named a strong team, with an exciting front three of Xavier Amaechi, Folarin Balogun and Bukayo Saka, but they got off to the worst possible start by conceding in the first 10 minutes.
Saka always looked like the most likely to come up with a response, hitting the bar in the 27th minute before scoring from close range not long afterwards. However, West Brom took the lead again in the second half, and Arsenal’s forwards had an off day with their finishing for the remainder of the game.
One positive was seeing Tyreece John-Jules return to the action after injury, but even he couldn’t inspire the team to a late equaliser.
For the team, it was a desperately disappointing result, as they had a real opportunity to win the competition this year. For Saka individually, it was good to see his strong form in front of goal continuing, with five goals and one assist in four games for the academy since the turn of the year.
Hopefully, this exit won’t hinder Saka getting more first-team chances before the end of the campaign.