Arsenal centre-back Taylor Foran was unfairly thrust into his u23 debut in goal against Manchester City, but he gave a good account of himself.
For reasons only the academy staff will be able to explain, the Arsenal u23s didn’t name a goalkeeper on the bench (or even many players, just three in total) away to Manchester City on Saturday.
Perhaps there were multiple late injuries, or Mikel Arteta wanted them for first-team training, but whatever the explanation, Arsenal only had goalkeeper Karl Hein as an option in their matchday squad.
Despite taking the lead, inevitably, Hein picked up a red card within the first 10 minutes. Steve Bould turned to u23 centre-back debutant Taylor Foran to come on and play the position.
The remainder of the match was attack against defence, but Foran was up to the task. In the opening 45 minutes, he had to make six or seven saves, including from some tough one-on-ones, and only one goal got past him.
The defender started off in the second period in similarly impressive fashion, with a couple of good stops. Unfortunately, City took the lead and made the task even more difficult just before the hour mark – with an unstoppable shot off the post.
Arsenal had to push up to try and find an equaliser, which led to two more very late goals for the hosts. It was harsh on Foran, who made another couple of last-ditch stops late on, and he really couldn’t have done much about those third and fourth goals.
It finished 4-1 to City, but that’s the very least you’d expect from the circumstances. Foran didn’t embarrass himself or Arsenal at all, and he made some good tackles showing why he was in the u23 squad as a 17-year-old in the first place. Well played to him.