Arsenal’s u18s came back from 2-0 down in the final five minutes to defeat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 on Tuesday, securing their position at the top of the table.
Arsenal went into the u18 North London derby as the league leaders, but with only one point between them and Tottenham Hotspur. The Gunners had also played a game more, and with only two games left after the derby, that would mean potentially having to make up a five-point deficit in two matches if they lost.
As a result, it was crucial not to suffer a defeat. Unfortunately, the young Gunners got off to the worst possible start, conceding early on, before going 2-0 down within 35 minutes. However, they were given a lifeline as Spurs’ Luis Binks was sent off just before half time.
Despite dominating the chances after the red card, Arsenal just couldn’t find the net. Centre-back Mark McGuinness has scored a few goals lately but headed just wide from a corner. Folarin Balogun is the South division’s top scorer but saw a chipped effort fly narrowly over the bar. Weekend hat-trick hero Trae Coyle saw a good shot well saved.
With just over five minutes left and the score still at 2-0, it looked like it just wasn’t going to be Arsenal’s day.
Bukayo Saka had other ideas. Having just fired narrowly wide after a strong run at goal, Saka had the ball in the net to make it 2-1 with 5 minutes left. Moments later, he put in a dangerous cross, which Tottenham defender Lyons-Foster accidentally diverted into his own net.
The u18s went into injury time with the scores level, but a draw still wasn’t enough to have any realistic chance at finishing in top spot. Then Ben Cottrell completed the comeback in dramatic style:
The u18s are now four points clear of Spurs, but that gap could be cut to one point again if their rivals win their game in hand. As a result, to guarantee finishing in top spot Arsenal have to win both of their final matches against Reading this Saturday and Fulham on April 27th.
Should they do so, they’ll then play a play-off final against the winner of the North division to decide the overall champion. As it stands, that’s set to be Derby County, though Liverpool are just three points behind.
Good luck to the youngsters with the final matches of the campaign!