Tyreece John-Jules scored the winner and should have had another from the penalty spot as the Arsenal u23s won 1-0 against Southampton on Saturday.

Ben Cottrell (Photo via Instagram / BenCottrell80)
Ben Cottrell (Photo via Instagram / BenCottrell80)

There were few surprises in Arsenal’s starting lineup on Saturday, as the usual back-five of goalkeeper Karl Hein, full-backs Tolaji Bola and Zak Swanson and centre-backs Konstantinos Mavropanos and Harry Clarke all kept their places.

Similarly, with Folarin Balogun out injured, the front three of Nathan Tormey, Tyreece John-Jules and Trae Coyle has become standard.

There was a change in midfield though, as James Olayinka returned for his first PL2 appearance since the opening day due to injury. He joined Matt Smith and Ben Cottrell, who have both started to nail down their places in the side. Robbie Burton was suspended.

John-Jules had the first real chance of the afternoon, heading over after he was found in the box by Bola. Bola also did well to make a recovery tackle at the other end, denying a goalscoring opportunity midway through the half.

Just before half-time, John-Jules received a ball over the top from Ben Cottrell and fired home superbly to make it 1-0. The striker was Arsenal’s biggest threat all game, and he was only denied a second by a couple of vital stops by the Saints’ goalkeeper.

The best chance for John-Jules to add to his tally came from the penalty spot, after he was pulled down in the area. Unfortunately, his effort was well saved, but he’s still on a run of nine goal contributions in eight games for club and country.

James Olayinka also hit the post in the second half, but in the end, one goal was enough.

Starting Lineup vs Southampton: Hein, Swanson, Mavropanos, Clarke (C), Bola, Smith, Olayinka, Cottrell, Tormey, John-Jules, Coyle

Subs: Hillson, Olowu, Omole, Medley, McEneff (for Cottrell, 86)