Experience bails out youth as Arsenal edge Bolton 2-1

Experience bails out youth as Arsenal edge Bolton 2-1

After admitting he’s still haunted by the result of Arsenal’s last Carling Cup run, Arsène Wenger watched his side continue their passage through this years competition, after edging Bolton 2-1 at the Emirates.


In a tournament that Wenger still regards as some what of a play ground for young talent, it required his experienced heads to help guide the Gunners into the last eight, for the ninth consecutive time. As I wrote last night, Łukasz Fabiański, Thomas Vermaelen, Sébastien Squillaci, Yossi Benayoun, Andrey Arshavin and Park Chu-Young all started, and all proved their worth, against a Bolton side who were difficult to kill off.

Nico Yennaris slotted in at right back, and despite some early nerves, looked assured, composed and his usual aggressive self, turning in an almost faultless performance. The same couldn’t have been said for third round stars Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong, who were only good in patches, and were at the heart of a mix up which saw Fabrice Muamba thump home the opener.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Man of the Match against Shrewsbury, turned in a notably poor performance, so it was left to Arshavin and the always dangerous Chu-Young, to grab the goals to win the tie. At the other end, Vermaelen was the pick of a solid defensive display, while Miquel seemed comfortable at left back, but was rarely directly troubled.

After the experience had turned around the scoreline, Wenger handed another début out, this time to defender Danny Boateng, while Ryo Miyaichi and Oğuzhan Özyakup also joined the party. The latter two showed drive, energy and some glorious touches going forward, but tempered that with good tracking back and defending.

So, a place in the quarter finals. Arsenal will now almost certainly look to get all of tonight’s bench out on loan, with a more experienced focus set to come back for the latter stages.

Still, it’s been fun, and an introduction for many prospects. Now, they must prove they deserve more chances.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlan hits superb England hat-trick

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlan hits superb England hat-trick

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain just gets better and better. The 18-year-old, who was left out of the squad for Sunday’s North London derby with Tottenham, scored all three goals as England Under-21’s beat Iceland Under-21’s 3-0 in Reykjavik this evening.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s two goals in two first half minutes helped settle Stuart Pearce’s shaky looking young Lions in the opening stages, before capping off a superb display with an excellent third, beating four players in the build up.

It means the former Southampton prospect, an initial £7 million buy from Southampton in the summer, has five goals in his last three games for club and country. Arsenal may well have to pay out the remaining £5 million in bonuses sooner than they thought.

Feed the Ox, and he will score.

Want to find out all of the latest Gunners scores as they happen? Come to www.footballscores.com to recieve live updates on scores from not just the Gunners, but games being played all over the globe. Come now!

Arsenal 2-2 Swansea: Aneke Stars In Draw

Arsenal 2-2 Swansea: Aneke Stars In Draw

Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the Premier Reserve League season continued this evening, but goals from Luke Freeman and Chuks Aneke were not enough to secure all three points in a 2-2 draw with Swansea City

Neil Banfield warned against Swansea’s flowing football before kick off, but the divison’s newest entrants had shipped eight goals in two games on the road, and were naturally cautious in the opening stages.

Yet it was the visitors carved out the only real chance of the opening exchanges, only for Gwion Edwards to flick Stephen Dobbie’s cross over the bar. However, proceedings exploded into life on the 15 minute mark, when Ryo Miyaichi beat two players out wide, before his cross was turned home by Luke Freeman. 1-0.

It was an goal from nowhere, and with Miyaichi, Chuks Aneke and Sanchez Watt all coming close to a second, the Gunners were not resting on their lead. But as unlikely as Arsenal’s goal was, Swansea matched it with one of their own. Kurtis March got it, lashing in another Dobbie cross for 1-1, as the game approached half time.

Far from being frustrated, Banfield’s young charges appeared energised by the Swansea goal, and were promptly back in front when Oguzhan Özyakup’s corner was met by a flick header from Aneke. 2-1, and much deserved.

The game struggled to get going after the restart, with Dobbie’s drilled free-kick being blocked by Martin Angha and a powerful Zak Ansah drive being turned over by Gerhard Tremmel the only real chances.

Swansea threatened a late push, but after Edwards was withdrawn through injury, any late threat seemed to be lost. However, Dobbie produced a superb last ditch equaliser in the 90th minute, slamming a in a free kick for 2-2.

And that’s how it finished. No three points, but with excellent performances from Aneke and Özyakup among others, Banfield’s boys can be happy with their evening’s work.

Arsenal 1-0 Blackburn: Watt Strike Wins It

Arsenal continued their excellent start to the Premier Reserve League season with a smash and grab 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers this evening. Sanchez Watt struck the winner, converting Oğuzhan Özyakup’s pass.

Neil Banfield had to make do without several first-team youngsters, but was allowed to keep Ryo Miyaichi, with the Japanese youngster still short of full fitness. Carling Cup debutant’s Oğuzhan Özyakup and Chuks Aneke started, while Ignasi Miquel was injured in the warm up, and replaced by the returning Sead Hajrovic.

ARSENAL: Martínez; Angha, Boateng, Hajrovic, Meade; Yennaris, Özyakup; Miyaichi, Aneke, Freeman; Watt.

Banfield re-lived last season seven goal thriller before kick off, and told Arsenal.com he hoped Blackburn would bring another experienced side to the capital, with his exciting young charges prepared to ‘have a real go’.

Rovers boss Gary Bowyer kept his side of the bargain, starting first-teamers Grant Hanley, Herold Goulon, Bruno Ribeiro, Jordan Slew and Simon Vukčević, and as the game began, Banfield’s boys did their bit. Arsenal snapped out of the traps and penned the visitors into their own half, creating shoot chances for Özyakup and then Freeman in quick succession.

Freeman then helped carve Blackburn open, feeding Miyaichi who in turn found Watt, but the lone striker could only roll his shot against the post. Up the other end, Meade was on hand to head Hanley’s header off the line, in a rare attack by the visitors.

The half time break came and went, with few chances to speak of. A tired looking Miyaichi was replaced on the hour mark, and as the game showed signs of slowing down, Arsenal struck. The efficient Özyakup fed hungry Watt, who lashed the Gunners in front. 1-0.

Vukčević and Hanley were both proving useful in the box in the final stages, but Martin Angha, fresh from training with the first-team this week, was on hand on several occasions to block and clear. The Gunners weather some late pressure, with after Martínez tipped over Slew’s free-kick in stoppage, the win was secured.

All in all, a gritty victory, in front of the watching and supporting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Wigan 1-3 Arsenal: Ryo On Target

Arsenal continued their 100% start to the Premier Reserve League this afternoon, coming from behind to beat Wigan 3-1. Goals from Sanchez Watt, Chuks Aneke and Ryo Miyaichi wrapped up the points, after Daniel Redmond has scored a first half screamer.

Neil Banfield saw his resources stretched further from the 2-1 win over Manchester United last time out, with captain Ignasi Miquel joining Armand Traoré and Benik Afobe in the first-team. However, Vito Mannone continued in goal, and as we told you earlier in the day, Ryo Miyaichi was allowed to feature, as he builds up match fitness.

ARSENAL: Mannone; Yennaris, Boateng, Angha, Meade; Ebecilio, Özyakup, Aneke; Miyaichi, Freeman, Watt.

Wigan had given Arsenal the run around in this fixture last year, and began with a similar swagger. Jordan Rugg did well to carve himself space, but the excellent reflexes of Vito Mannone denied the opener.

For all the hosts excellent passing, it was the visitors who struck first. Chuks Aneke played in Luke Freeman with a lovely flicked pass, and Freeman finished well, only for the offside flag to rule it out. Wigan then suffered the same fate, when Rugg’s cross was turned into his own net by Martin Angha, only for Callum McManaman to be flagged in the build up.

Yet undeterred, the Latics kicked on and took the lead in stunning fashion, when Daniel Redmond smashed home from all of 30 yards. The power beat Mannone, who had picked up a knock earlier in the game. He was then withdrawn, replaced by Sean McDermott.

Arsenal had struggled to create any chances of note, but snatched an equaliser when Jamie McCormack’s defensive error was sized upon by Sanchez Watt. He kept his head and lobbed the on rushing Chris Kirkland for 1-1.

The second half began in much the same fashion as the first – with more offside goals. Freeman thought he’d put the Gunners in front twice, only for both to be ruled out in quick succession. However, Banfield’s boys would eventually complete the come back shortly after, when Aneke exchanged passes with Watt before finishing confidently. 2-1.

Wigan threatened an equaliser through fierce shots from Dicko and McManaman, but Arsenal moved out of sight when the largely ineffective Ryo Miyaichi collected Aneke’s lob and beat Kirkland with ease. 3-1.

The hosts tired in the closing stages, but Arsenal couldn’t make them pay.

Arsenal 2-1 Man Utd: Aneke Bags Winner

Arsenal kicked off their Premier Reserve League campaign with a 2-1 win over Manchester United this evening. Goals from Sanchez Watt and Chuks Aneke were sandwiched between a Mame Diouf header, as the young Gunners defeated a strong United lineup.

The visitors boasted the likes of Tomasz Kuszczak, Darron Gibson, Darren Fletcher, Mame Diouf and Paul Pogba, but Neil Banfield responded by calling upon first-teamers Vito Mannone, Armand Traoré and Benik Afobe, all of whom have been involved in Champions League training this week.

ARSENAL: Mannone; Yennaris, Boateng, Miquel, Traoré; Özyakup, Ebecilio, Aneke; Watt, Afobe, Freeman.

Arsenal are United are among the early favourites to win the Premier Reserve League title this season, and as such, both sides began with real pace and vigour.

But it was the hosts who carved out the first real chance of the game, when Ebecilio collected Watt’s flick but could only lash the ball straight at Kuszczak. United hit back when Cole’s right wing cross was headed inches wide by Diouf, but the game lost some of its edge when Traoré and then Afobe both left the field with groin injuries.

However, despite Banfield having to reshuffle the setup, Arsenal stuck first. Some clever foot work from Freeman allowed him space to roll the ball through for Watt, and the former Leeds United loanee fired into the roof off the net for 1-0. The Gunners grew in confidence and began to find their feet, but with half time approaching, United levelled. Pogba’s quick feet saw him get away from Meade, and Diouf was on hand to fire home the resulting cross 1-1.

Mannone made two quick fire saves on the cusp of half time, but the two sides were level at the break.

Some words of wisdom from the United coaching staff seemed to work wonders, as the visitors returned with real threat. Mannone made a solid save from a smart turn and shot by Diouf, before Fryers saw a free-kick go inches over.

The fixture then seemed destined to be a draw, but up stepped Chuks Aneke. The powerful central midfielder had been frustrated by Gibson and Fletcher for most of the evening, but with 15 minutes left, he burst from the centre of the park and as Fryers backed off, Aneke’s lashed shot took a deflection and wrong-footed Kuszczak. 2-1.

Arsenal weathered some strong United pressure in the closing stages, to seal three points and notable win, to start the season in style.

Dover 0-3 Arsenal XI: Afobe On Target

Arsenal wrapped up their preparations for the new Premier Reserve League season with a 3-0 win over Dover Athletic this evening. Goals from Benik Afobe, Henri Lansbury and Luke Freeman mean the Gunners finish pre-season unbeaten.

A selection of scouts from clubs all over the country were present at the Crabble stadium, many of whom hoping to grab a glimpse of Kyle Bartley. He was not included after signing a new contract, but Benik Afobe and Vito Mannone did drop down from first-team duty to start.

ARSENAL: Mannone; Yennaris, Hajrovic, Boateng, Meade; Lansbury, Özyakup, Aneke; Watt, Afobe, Freeman.

In front of a healthy crowd of over 2500 fans, Dover enjoyed some confidence building early touches. Yet after sloppy play on the edge of the Arsenal box, the Gunners showed their ruthless instincts.

The in-form Chuks Aneke saw a powerful drive beaten away by Lee Hook, before Sanchez Watt almost prodded the ball home in a goal mouth scramble. The hosts managed to clear, but the ball quickly came back towards the Dover the goal. Özyakup picked out Afobe, and the exciting front man powered Arsenal into the lead. 1-0.

Henri Lansbury was next to try his luck, lashing two shots either side of Hook’s goal. However, moments later, and via a deflection from Ed Harris, Lansbury would make it 2-0. Dover then tried to hit back, but found Mannone is good form twice to make solid blocks.

With half time approaching, Arsenal got a third. Luke Freeman added his name to the score sheet, but only thanks to another deflection off that man Harris. 3-0 at the break.

Neil Banfield’s boys snapped out of the traps once again after the restart, and should have had a stunning fourth, but Freeman’s delicate chip was cleared. A raft of Arsenal changes saw Kyle Ebecilio, Elton Montiero, Martin Angha and Serge Gnabry all come off the bench, as Dover looked for a way back into the game.

Late on, Mannone was at is best to thwart the hosts on a handful of occasions, maintaining his clean sheet while also impressing the fraternity of scouts. Both sides took their foot of the gas in the closing stages, and the game finished 3-0.

An excellent finish to Arsenal’s pre-season preparations.

Boreham Wood 1-7 Arsenal: Watt Bags A Trio

Arsenal continued their build up to the new Premier Reserve League season with a 7-1 win over Boreham Wood this evening. A goal on his Reserve team debut for Serge Gnabry was added to by a hat-trick from Sanchez Watt, while Luke Freeman, Henri Lansbury and Kyle Ebecilio all got one each.

Neil Banfield had to make do without a handful of youngsters currently on first-team duty, but he was able to call upon the services of Henri Lansbury, as he bids to improve his fitness. Reice Charles-Cook continued in goal after a Man of the Match performance against Stevenage FC.

There were places on the bench for some of last seasons Under 18’s, while summer signing Serge Gnabry was also included after scoring against a Sunderland’s XI in midweek. Goalkeeper coach Tony Roberts made up the numbers.

ARSENAL: Charles-Cook; Yennaris, Hajrovic, Boateng, Meade; Lansbury, Galindo, Özyakup; Watt, Aneke, Freeman.

Subs: Roberts (GK), Angha, Monteiro, Brislen-Hall, Ebecilio, Gnabry.

Arsenal settled to the task quickly, and carved out the first chance of the game when Sanchez Watt lashed an effort straight at the ‘keeper. It was an early signal that the Gunners were in the mood.

That said, it was Boreham Wood who took a surprise lead, when Mario Noto’s lashed free-kick went straight through Charles-Cook’s hands and into the goal. 1-0.

Banfield’s boys went straight for the jugular after the restart, and had two quick fire chances. Luke Freeman missed the first, before the aforementioned Watt finished a nice move for 1-1. Watt then had an effort blocked minutes later, but Freeman was on hand to turn home the rebound. 2-1.

Henri Lansbury had a long range free-kick saved as half time approached, but it didn’t matter, as the England Under 21 international crashed home a shot from a similar range shortly after. It was a stunning third. 3-1.

Half time came and went, and with Gunners in total control, Banfield rotated. Serge Gnabry came on for his Reserve team debut, and he made it four from a set piece. Fellow substitute Kyle Ebecilio then got in on the act, grabbing number five.

Arsenal kept pushing forward, and although were vulnerable on the break, it wasn’t long before goal number six arrived. The impressive Watt, who had been a thorn in the hosts side all evening, bagging a brace. 6-1, but he wasn’t finished there. Another slick team move ended up with Watt through, and he made no mistake in completing his hat-trick. 7-1.

With the possibility of 10 goals in sight, the visitors continued their push, but the game finished 7-1. All in all, an excellent run out in front of the watching Pat Rice, Boro Primorac and Steve Rowley.

Gnabry Scores In Sunderland Defeat

Arsenal continued their build up to the new Premier Academy League season with a 2-1 defeat to a Sunderland XI yesterday.

Steve Bould’s crop of Under 18’s, only playing their second game of pre-season, were unlucky to lose to a Black Cats Reserve side that boasted first-team defenders Nyron Nosworthy and Matt Kilgallon.

After a difficult start, Arsenal finished the opening period on top, and could have been in front just before the break. A raft of changes disrupted the flow in the second half, but with time running out, former Gunner Roarie Deacon lashed home following some poor defending to put Sunderland ahead.

An excellent strike from Jordan Cook doubled the advantage soon after, but Bould’s boys kept plugging away, and pulled one back when summer signing Serge Gnabry bagged his first for the club.

Arsenal had further chances to equalise, but the game finished 2-1.