The Arsenal u18s lost again on Saturday, but they’ll take some positives from the Leicester City match despite the defeat.

Catalin Cirjan (Photo via Instagram)
Catalin Cirjan (Photo via Instagram)

The Arsenal u18s faced Leicester City at home on Saturday, and they failed to avoid slipping to another heavy defeat. They ended up losing 5-2, the third time this league season they’ve conceded five goals or more.

Injuries and u23 call-ups continue to play a major part for the team right now. Nathan Butler-Oyedeji was having a positive season before his recent injury, Sam Greenwood is in the u23s after Tyreece John-Jules’ loan, as is Ben Cottrell, among others.

The upside is that some young players are getting chances as a result. 15-year-old Mauro Bandeira made his debut in the 60th minute, coming on for 16-year-old Charlie Patino. Another member of the u16s, Marcelo Flores, came on for his third u18 appearance.

The first half was actually pretty close. Arsenal took an early lead through Catalin Cirjan, set up by the in-form Alfie Matthews. Leicester came back to take a 2-1 lead, but the Gunners quickly equalised, with Patino setting up Zane Monlouis.

Unfortunately, Leicester retook the lead just before half-time, and Arsenal fell away after the break.

The one big positive for this u18 season remains the FA Youth Cup run to the quarter-finals. They face Blackburn Rovers away from home in that match on March 6th.