Stevenage 0-1 Arsenal XI: Aneke Bags Winner

A second half Chuks Aneke strike gave an Arsenal Reserve XI a 1-0 over Stevenage this afternoon. In an end-to-end encounter, the returning Henri Lansbury and the in form Aneke combined for a superb winner.

The Gunners were forced to rotate with Benik Afobe and Conor Henderson joining the first-team in Germany, while James Shea was absent after beginning a trial at Dagenham and Redbridge. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Kyle Bartley were other notable omissions, with both players strongly linked with moves away from the club.

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

In a mixed first period, Arsenal struggled to get their passing football together and only carved out two real chances. Freeman had the first, but the former Gillingham striker blazed over the bar. Then, following some pressure from the hosts, Boateng could have opened the scoring, but he saw a powerful head go wide.

The Gunners found their way in the second half, and as Galindo and Lansbury began to find their range, Arsenal kicked on. With time running out, Lansbury fed Aneke on the edge of the box, and just as he did against Woking, the powerful midfielder turned and lashed home. 1-0.

Ansah and Meade came off the bench late on, but as Stevenage searched for an equaliser, they were on defensive duties. As time ticked down, rookie stopper Charles-Cook thwarted the hosts twice with stunning saves, including one in the 90th minute to preserve the win and Arsenal’s unbeaten pre-season run.

Bellerin Scores As Arsenal Beat Watford

Steve Bould’s Under 18’s kicked off their pre-season preparations with a 2-0 win over Watford this morning.

Bould, who heads into the new season with one of his biggest squads yet, will use a selection of behind closed doors fixtures to decide who will play an integral part, and who may be forced to leave the club.

The first of those was today against Watford. The Gunners played some good football and won the game 2-0, thanks to goals from the lethal Zak Ansah, plus a debut strike from winger Héctor Bellerín.

More to follow.

Hastings 0-9 Arsenal: JET Shines In Rout

Arsenal’s Reserve and Youth players continued their pre-season preparations with a 9-0 win over Hastings United this evening. A Jay Emmanuel-Thomas hat-trick, a brace from Luke Freeman and one each from Chuks Aneke, Oguzhan Ozyakup, Jernade Meade and Sanchez Watt sealed a comfortable win.

Banfield made four changes from the side that beat Woking 3-0 last week, with Shea, Hajrovic, Meade and Afobe all dropping out. There were first starts at this level for Charles-Cook and Galindo, while Yennaris and Freeman also came in.

ARSENAL: Charles-Cook; Yennaris, Bartley, Boateng, Henderson; Aneke, Özyakup, Galindo; JET, Watt, Freeman.

Arsenal started brightly against the Isthmian Division outfit, and could have taken the lead with just five minutes on the clock, when Freeman found Aneke in space, but the 18-year-old could only shoot at the ‘keeper.

The gulf in class was obvious right from the off, and when Freeman combined with Özyakup, Arsenal had their lead, and wouldn’t look back. Emmanuel-Thomas then wasted two superb chances after some quick foot work, before lashing a 35 yard effort miles over. However, he would make up for it in the closing stages of the half.

An excellent dribble around the Hasting’s defence allowed him to walk in goal number two. Jay got himself a second shortly after, with a well hit drive. 3-0 and total control.

Aneke should have made it four straight from the kick off, but his chip went over the bar. Yet the prospect would finish the half with a goal, when he lashed home in style.

Banfield switched things around at half time, bringing on Rhys Murphy for Boateng. The changes threatened to disrupt the flow, but Arsenal kicked on in their search for more goals.

Murphy hit the post, then Hastings thought they’d denied Emmanuel-Thomas a hat-trick with a brilliant last ditch tackle. However, the leggy forward would grab his third shortly after, smashing home an effort from the edge of the box. A truly superb effort.

There was no time to celebrate the goal, as Arsenal continued their hunt for more. They didn’t have to wait long, as Banfield’s boys grabbed two more in quick succession. First, Watt grabbed number six following a spilled Meade shot, then Özyakup unlocked the Hastings back four for Freeman. He made it seven with ease.

Second half sub Meade got goal number eight from Henderson’s corner, before Hastings almost embarrassed Charles-Cook on his debut. The rookie stopper managed to scramble the ball away, having had little to do all game. The ball was soon back up the other end, and was soon back in the Hastings net. Freeman with his brace. 9-0.

Despite a real desire to grab the 10th, it finished 9-0. All in all, an enjoyable work out.

Woking 0-3 Arsenal: Galindo Debuts In Easy Win

An Arsenal Reserve XI beat Woking FC 3-0 this evening, as the club’s second string youngsters played their first game of pre-season. An early own goal set the tone, before Chuks Aneke doubled the lead just before half time. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas wrapped the win up in the second half.

Henri Lansbury, Craig Eastmond and Gavin Hoyte all missed out through a lack of fitness, but Bolivian Samuel Galindo was included for the first time after moving from Real America last summer. He was joined on the bench by 41-year-old goalkeeper coach Tony Roberts, who was a late inclusion as James Shea’s back up.

ARSENAL: Shea; Hajrovic, Bartley, Boateng, Meade; Özyakup, Aneke, Henderson; Emmanuel-Thomas, Afobe, Watt.

Woking set about their task well in the opening stages, showing just why many tip them to win promotion from Blue Square South next season.

A selection of threatening long balls tested the mettle of the Arsenal defence, before the back pedalling Shea was forced to tip a dipping shot over the bar. Woking were having the better of it, but it was Arsenal who snatched the lead, when Emmanuel-Thomas’ corner was turned in for an own goal, despite Afobe trying to claim it as his own. 1-0.

The game lost its way towards half time, but the Afobe-Aneke combination that worked so many times for the Under 18’s, worked again. Benik played Chuks in on the edge of the box, and the powerful midfielder turned sharply and lashed the ball in to the corner. A brilliant move and an excellent goal. 2-0.

It was the final meaningful action of the half.

The second period saw Brislen-Hall, Yennaris, Murphy, Freeman and Galindo all come on, the latter for his Arsenal debut. Mass changes usually disrupt the flow, but Arsenal kicked on. Emmanuel-Thomas and Murphy both had shots saved, before Galindo’s mazy run resulted in a superb ball for Freeman, but he only found the ‘keepers chest despite being through one-on-one.

Woking threatened briefly late on, but the Cards folded when Emmanuel-Thomas finished where Freeman hadn’t to make it 3-0.

The full time whistle brought to an end a comfortable victory. Many of these players are expected to go on loan, but should he require them, Arsène Wenger has some good prospects in reserve.

Arsenal Complete Ferroli Cup Group Stages

Arsenal have wrapped up the group stages of the Ferroli Cup, but Steve Gatting’s boys need other results to go their way if they are to reach the semi-finals.

The Gunners kicked against AC Milan on Thursday evening, already knowing that Chelsea and Manchester City had suffered defeats to Italian opposition earlier in the day. In what proved to be a tight affair, two goals in five minutes from Austin Lipman then Chuba Akpom sealed a 2-0 win.

In the other game, Aspire Academy beat AC Sambonifacese 6-0. It meant a show down with the Qatar-based school of excellence to decide the group. Arsenal were missing Akpom through injury, and it tolled. Yet despite going behind twice, Lipman and Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill goals make it 2-2, only for Aspire to grab a late winner.

That result meant Arsenal went in today’s clash with AC Sambonifacese needing to win and hoping results elsewhere go their way. They did their bit, as Lipman scored again, in between strikes from Jack Jebb and Kristoffer Olsson.

That means Arsenal need AC Milan to beat the cash-backed Aspire by a huge goal difference, or, they could also make the semi-final as the best second place team in the competition. However, that would depend on results involving Hallas Verona and Juventus going their way. Both seem unlikely.

You can follow the results elsewhere and find out if Arsenal make it through via our Twitter feed.

Man Utd 0-0 Arsenal: Vermaelen Shines In Draw

Arsenal wrapped up their Premier Reserve League season with a 0-0 draw against Manchester United this evening. The point sees the Gunners’ extend their lead at the top of the table, but second place Chelsea now have two games in hand.

Neil Banfield was able to call upon the experience of Thomas Vermaelen at centre half – he replaced the suspended Ignasi Miquel in a defensive reshuffle. Chuks Aneke returned from injury, while Sead Hajrovic was dropped from the squad altogether after his poor showing at the Dallas Cup.

ARSENAL: Shea; Angha, Boateng, Vermaelen, Brislen-Hall; Ebecilio, Özyakup; Murphy, Aneke, Henderson, Aliadière.

MAN UTD: Amos, W Brown, Wootton, Gill, Dudgeon, R Brown, Bébé, Fletcher, Norwood, Obertan, Brady

Arsenal began brightly in front of a handful of fans at Old Trafford, but it was United who created the early threat. A series of long balls were all aimed at the visitors’ back four, but the returning Vermaelen headed everything away. It was a commanding start from the Belgian.

After showing off his defensive abilities, Thomas then sprayed a series of passes forward, but Arsenal struggled for end product. Then came a moment of contention, when Boateng headed the ball beyond the on rushing Shea, who appeared to foul Obertan outside the area. The United fans appealed for a red card, but it wasn’t given.

There was a card moment later, though, as Aliadière was booked for diving. It summed up a terrible first half for the Frenchman. Arsenal had struggled to make chances despite dominating the play, and United almost took advantage in the closing stages of the half, as two shots from Norwood threatened Shea’s goal. However, it was 0-0 at the break.

The second half saw first-teamers Fletcher and then Bébé replaced in quick succession, but United stepped up their attacking threat. Obertan and then Tunnicliffe both had chances in the wide areas, but confident defending from Vermaelen and Özyakup denied any end product.

Deacon was then introduced and after going to 4-4-2, Arsenal looked more balanced. Then came another moment of controversy, when Aliadière was chopped down by Amos, only for the referee to give Aliadière as offside, despite the fact he latched onto a back pass. Vermaelen ran over and began remonstrating, only for the hosts to break. A fine covering block from substitute Wynter prevented a dangerous chance for Keane.

It was end-to-end in the closing stages, but then three minutes from time, United should have scored. A short-corner found Gill from close range, and his powerful header looked goal bound before an unbelievable save from Shea tipped it onto the cross bar. It was a stunning stop to deny a certain goal.

It was the final meaningful action of a forgettable save. Banfield’s boys know they’re unlikely to feature in the Premier Reserve League title hunt, but the return of the excellent Vermaelen make it a fruitful evening.

Dallas Cup Semi-Final: Arsenal 0-2 Frankfurt

Arsenal crashed out of the Dallas Cup at the semi-final stage this morning, losing 2-0 to Eintracht Frankfurt. An early goal from Okan Durci set the Germans on their way, before a late Dustin Ernst strike wrapped it up, on a frustrating night in America.

Steve Bould was rocked by a late injury to Luke Freeman before kick off, but looked to compensate by bringing Jeffrey Monakana in for his first start of the competition. Roarie Deacon led the line, while Josh Rees was surprisingly left on the bench.

ARSENAL: Martínez; Hajrovic, Boateng, Angha; Brislen-Hall; Frimpong, Ebecilio; Monakana, Ozyakup, Henderson; Deacon.

Arsenal began slowly in every one of their group games, and continued that trend against a defensive and well organised Frankfurt side. Okan Durci almost opened the scoring seconds in, when he collected a sloppy Ozyakup pass and curled a left foot shot that just went over Martínez’s cross bar.

The Gunners tried to press forward, but found their German opponents a difficult match, with their quick and aggressive way of closing the ball down. Deacon then created space in the box after a successful passing move, but after he lost possession, Frankfurt broke away, and grabbed the opener. Schmidt burst away from Hajrovic down the right, and crossed for Durci to turn home from close range. 1-0.

Martínez denied Durci a second shortly after, as he saved brilliantly as the winger tried to go around him. Angha then hacked a header off the line, as Arsenal battled back from the brink. The ineffective Monakana was replaced with Ansah before half time, and it payed instant dividends.

Ansah’s clever lay off on the edge of the box found Frimpong, and he lashed a pile driver that flew just wide. It was a significant chance in a half of few opportunities for Steve Bould’s boys.

A half time re-shuffle saw Montiero replace Frimpong, and the early signs were positive. Arsenal began to pass the ball better, but as the minutes ticked on, they struggled to create any clear chances.

A Henderson free-kick caused panic at the back, but it was cleared, and Frankfurt broke again. The resulting move almost made it 2-0, when a cross-shot from Schmidt looked to have caught Martínez out, only for it to bounce over.

Ansah then headed an Ebecilio cross onto the roof of the net, but the Dallas heat began to get to the players in the closing stages. The coaching staff and impressive gathering of American Gooners tried to urge the team on, but it was to no avail. Substitute Dustin Ernst sealed the win late on, when he finished confidently beyond Martínez. 2-0.

The late strike confirmed the result on a hugely disappointing evening. The loss of Freeman to injury before kick off was no doubt a bitter blow, but Arsenal proved to be one-dimensional against the well organised Germans.

Dallas Cup: Arsenal 3-1 Club Bolivar

Arsenal wrapped up the group stages of the Dallas Cup with a 3-1 win over Club Bolívar this morning. A brace from Roarie Deacon sandwiched between a Luke Freeman strike saw the Gunners continue their winning ways ahead of a semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Neil Banfield and Steve Bould resisted the opportunity to rest players ahead of that crunch game, although Jordon Wynter did come into the midfield for his first start of the competition.

ARSENAL: Martínez; Rees, Boateng, Angha, Brislen-Hall; Frimpong, Wynter; Deacon, Özyakup, Henderson, Freeman.

The Gunners were once again slow to get going, and following on from the example The Dallas Texans showed on Monday, Bolívar grabbed themselves an early lead. Emi Martínez was left stranded as a powerful shot deflected off an Arsenal leg and flew into the goal. 1-0.

If starting slow was a trait Arsenal had had acquired, so was quick come backs. Luke Freeman burst clear of the Bolívar defence and rounded the ‘keeper to level the scores, moments after falling behind. 1-1, but they weren’t finished there. On 34 minutes Roarie Deacon turned home from close range after a spilled cross to make it 2-1, and the group leaders headed into the break in front.

A host of half time substitutions combined with solid defending disrupted the flow in the second half, but the Bolivians resilience was finally broken 15 minutes from time. Deacon took a deep cross down on his chest expertly, before cutting inside and lashing his second and Arsenal’s third. 3-1.

The full time whistle brought to an end what had been a solid work out, but for Arsenal, the tournament favourites move on to the semi-final, live on Fox Soccer TV.

Dallas Cup: Arsenal 6-0 Chorrillo FC

Arsenal sealed their place in the semi-finals of the Dallas Cup after beating Chorrillo FC 6-0 this evening. Penalties either side of half time from Conor Henderson and Luke Freeman set the Gunners on their way, before Josh Rees, a second from Freeman, an Oguzhan Özyakup penalty, and a Zak Ansah strike sealed the result.

Steve Bould rotated his side from the 5-1 win over The Dallas Texans earlier in the day, making four changes, including between the sticks, with Sean McDermott replacing Emi Martinez.

ARSENAL: McDermott; Hajrovic, Boateng, Angha, Brislen-Hall; Özyakup, Ebecilio; Deacon, Henderson, Rees; Freeman.

Arsenal began with a swagger but struggled to break down their Panamanian opponents, as their solid defensive approach paid dividends in the opening moments.

The Gunners did eventually find a way through though, but after Henderson found Freeman in the box, a smart header on the line denied the opening goal. It proved to be a common theme, as minutes later Chorrillo had an effort cleared off the line, after a flap by McDermott. However, a foul was called in the build up.

Chorrillo then had a selection of chances for themselves as the half wore on, but solid defending from Angha, plus the excellent reflexes of McDermott kept the scores level. Arsenal continued to push on, and with the half time whistle approaching, they found a lucky break through. Rees was clipped down in the box, and Henderson converted a soft looking spot kick for 1-0.

Özyakup could have made it 2-0 with the final kick of the half, but his stunning volley smacked the bar and was cleared.

The half time interval gave Chorrillo renewed impetus, but just as they began to get a foot hold, Arsenal got another penalty for what looked like a harsh call for a hand ball. Freeman stepped up, and although he slipped, the ball hit the back of the net. 2-0.

Arsenal continued to push for another, and sealed the result when Deacon’s left wing cross was thumped in by Rees in the box. 3-0, but they weren’t finished yet. Ansah came off the bench and he was involved a move with saw Freeman cut in from the left and lash home a fourth from the edge of the box. 4-0.

A flood of changes then slowed the tempo down, before two combined for a fifth. Boateng’s ball out from the back fed Ansah in the box, he turned away from goal but was pushed to the floor. A third Arsenal penalty, converted this time by Özyakup. 5-0.

A late red card for an elbow on Özyakup summed up what had been a horrible game for Chorrillo FC. But Arsenal were not finished yet. After two brilliant saves from McDermott, they broke, and a sublime finish over the ‘keeper from Ansah made it 6-0.

The win sees Arsenal march on into the knock out phase, safe in the knowledge they can rest players for their final group game against Club Bolivar on Wednesday.