Follow me on twitter

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Arsenal U21s continue 100% start to the season with 3-0 win over Blackburn

Terry Burton's side made it two wins from two for the Gunners in the reformatted U21 league. With the first Next Gen match of the year on Wednesday in mind, he made several changes from the team that beat Bolton the previous week, and this time decided to take advantage of the three over-age players rule, with Craig Eastmond and Sanchez Watt starting. Martin Angha came in at right back, and had a very good game, while Daniel Boateng partnered Ignasi Miquel at centre back. Chuba Akpom retained his place up front, but Kris Olsson was dropped to the bench and Serge Gnabry was not involved at all.

In truth, Blackburn offered very little in this game, and James Shea in the Arsenal goal barely had a save to make. Arsenal took the lead inside fifteen minutes through Sanchez Watt's clinical finish, after being played in by a defence splitting reverse ball by 19 year old Chuks Aneke.

The hosts were playing some good football, and were clearly far superior to their Blackburn counterparts. The Gunners' lead was almost doubled five minutes from half time, when Eastmond capitalised on an awful pass by the opposition defender and played in Watt. The forward unleashed a rasping effort which the goalkeeper did well to palm away, only for the ball to fall at the feet of Aneke who, with the goal at his mercy, had his shot miraculously cleared off the line by Blackburn's Raheem Henley.

On the brink of half time, however, Arsenal did double their advantage. Conor Henderson played a lovely ball inside the opposition full back to the onrushing Angha, whose cross was dummied by Akpom and fell to Thomas Eisfeld, who dispatched confidently. The German clearly has a natural instinct of being in the right place at the right time, and continues his fine goalscoring form.

The torrential weather conditions certainly contributed to the lacklustre second half, and there was little to get excited about. The atmosphere became subdued as news of Robin van P€r$i€'s goal for Manchester United filtered through, but the 5,600 fans had something to cheer about after 70 minutes, when Henderson's long range shot deflected past Urwin in the Blackburn goal.

The fact that sixteen year old Chuba Akpom retained his position up front, forcing Sanchez Watt out wide, is a clear indication of how highly Burton rates him. The forward did well today, playing to his strengths. He held it up, brought others into the game and worked tirelessly, while also threatening with a couple shots. It's only a matter of time before he scores his first competitive reserve goal.

Thomas Eisfeld did well too, again deployed on the right side of midfield. In addition to his goal, the German contributed to most dangerous Arsenal moves, and was at times very difficult to defend against, with his clever bursts of movement. Goalscoring midfielders are revered at The Arsenal, and just as Freddie Ljungberg bows out of the game, we can have another one to look forward to.

Martin Angha was impressive at right back, despite having little to defend against. He acted as an auxiliary attacker to great effect, with several overlapping runs and crosses, including one that led to Arsenal's second.

There's not much else to report really. Henderson did well, and Ebecilio impressed again after coming on as a substitute. Arsenal's U18 side drew 2-2 away to Blackburn, with Jon Toral scoring again, while the U16s drew 1-1.

Next up for Burton's men teenagers is Marseille on Wednesday, in the first game of the new Next Gen series - a match these youngsters will relish.

'Till next time.

Follow me on Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment