Catalin Cirjan scored two more goals for the Arsenal u18s as they pulled off a rare league win with the help of a few younger players.

Marcelo Flores (Photo via Facebook / IstriaYouthCup)
Marcelo Flores (Photo via Facebook / IstriaYouthCup)

Catalin Cirjan scored his first league goal of the season last week against Leicester City, having previously only scored in the u18 PL Cup. The midfielder tripled his league tally against Brighton though, scoring twice in the opening 23 minutes.

Luke Plange assisted Cirjan’s second goal, in only his fifth u18 start of the season. Sam Greenwood has presumably picked up a knock, missing both the u18 match and yesterday’s u23 clash with Manchester City, so Plange took his place.

Plange wasn’t the only one to get a rare appearance. U16 stars Marcelo Flores and Mauro Bandeira both stepped up to make their first u18 starts for the team in competitive fixtures. Bandeira helped set up one of the goals on the day.

Midfielder Charlie Patino may be up to 10 league appearances now, but it’s worth keeping in mind he’s only 16 too. Goalkeeper Hubert Graczyk only turned 17 yesterday, whilst Cirjan celebrated his 17th birthday in December. It’s certainly a young side right now.

Zane Monlouis quickly made it 3-0 with a goal in the 26th minute, but the Arsenal goals dried up after that.

Brighton made a couple of half-time substitutions, and it got them back on track. Stefan Vukoje made it 3-1 in the 52nd minute, before Sam Packham reduced the deficit to one with a goal in the 73rd.

Arsenal brought on the more experienced Alfie Matthews and defender Levi Laing to try and cling onto the win. They also brought Kido Taylor-Hart on for Ryan Alebiosu a bit earlier in the half, as he continues to make his full return after injury.

Fortunately, they saw the game out for the three points, climbing a couple of places in the table as a result. Only up to eighth, but it’s still great to see them winning again.