Arsenal u18s overcame Southampton in the FA Youth Cup on Thursday night, progressing to the fifth round of the competition.
Arsenal faced off against Southampton in the FA Youth Cup at a busy Meadow Park on Thursday at 19:00. Mikel Arteta’s assistants Freddie Ljungberg and Albert Stuivenberg were in the crowd, along with first-team youngster Gabriel Martinelli.
The Gunners reached the fifth round of the competition last year, so this was their chance to match that achievement with a win.
FA Youth Cup Match Report: Arsenal 1-0 Southampton
As well as Arsenal’s notable attendees, Southampton also brought a large contingent of fans to watch their team. That was very evident from their excitement as their side hit the post in the opening minute or so.
Arsenal were a little lucky not to get off to a disastrous start. The young Gunners grew into the game after that though, having the best chances for the remainder of the half.
Sam Greenwood went closest with a trademark free-kick, forcing a good save. Nathan Butler-Oyedeji also created plenty of chances with his runs down the right. Despite putting in some good crosses, no one got on the end of any of them.
Meanwhile, Catalin Cirjan had a shot blocked and Charlie Patino went close with a half-volley.
Southampton fired a few fizzing shots at Arsenal’s goal throughout the match, but all from a distance. Though Hubert Graczyk couldn’t always catch them the first time, he did well to take the sting out of them and pick them up on the second attempt.
With 17 minutes to go, Matthew Dennis came on for Butler-Oyedeji.
Not long later, Ben Cottrell played a one-two with Alfie Matthews on the edge of the box, but the Southampton goalkeeper smothered his shot. The ball fell to substitute Dennis, but his rebound almost hit the corner flag.
The 17-year-old didn’t let that get him down though. Just a minute later, Dennis picked up the ball on the halfway line, ran towards the box and fired into the net from distance.
Marcelo Flores and Luke Plange came on for Charlie Patino and Alfie Matthews in the final 10 minutes.
Arsenal didn’t always look at their best defensively on the night, but thankfully Southampton didn’t do much to capitalise. On the few occasions they did get away, the standout defensive performer Alex Kirk covered really well.
The draw for the next round should take place very soon. We’ll post the result when we know it.
Graczyk, Oyegoke, Lopez, Patino, Kirk, Ogungbo, Butler-Oyedeji, Cottrell (C), Matthews, Cirjan, Greenwood
Monlouis, Mitchell, Plange (for Matthews, 90), Dennis (for Butler-Oyedeji, 73), Laing, Sraha, Flores (for Patino, 84)