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UEFA Youth League: Arsenal U19 5-1 Galatasaray U19

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Arsenal beat the hell out of Galatasaray, winning comprehensively.

"...Dan Crowley, seen here at age 6..."
"...Dan Crowley, seen here at age 6..."
David Rogers

1-0 Zelalem 45'
2-0 Hinds 58'
3-0 Willock 59'
4-0 Iwobi 66'
5-0 Crowley 70' (pen)
5-1 Furkhan Kopuz 94'

Arsenal U19s continued their scorching form in UEFA Youth League action with a 5-1 shellacking of Galatasaray U19. The Turkish youth side had comfortably dealt with Anderlecht U19s 3-0 in the previous round of action, but found out that the Young Gunners are a class above them.

Arsenal dominated proceedings early and imposed their will more and more as the match went on. The side was clearly set up to attack with Alex Iwobi and Chris Willock on either side of Kaylen Hinds, with Daniel Crowley in the No. 10 role and Gedion Zelalem and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as CMs.

In the second minute, Iwobi charged into the box and laid it off for Hinds, but his shot went well over. Arsenal continued their dominance but didn't really threaten again until the twenty-seventh minute when once again Iwobi's run freed up a shot, this time for Crowley, whose effort cannoned off the crossbar.

Arsenal finally broke through just before halftime as Zelalem was found on a run into the box by Hinds. Gedion then beat his man by cutting inside on his right foot and hammered it high past the keeper. It was Zelalem's first goal for the Gunners at any level, as far as this writer can remember.

After their first half dominance, it was likely Arsenal would score again. Hinds doubled Arsenal's lead early in the second half as Tafari Moore, playing out of position at left back, set him up for an easy tap-in. Within a minute, Willock put the Gunners up three.

Iwobi made it 4-0 in the sixty-sixth minute by smashing the ball through the keeper's legs after Crowley found him unmarked in the box with a cross. Zelalem then played Crowley in on goal in the seventieth minute and the Gala defender was forced to take him down for a penalty. Eschewing any unwritten rules, Crowley took the PK himself and buried it in the keeper's right hand corner.

Gala did score a consolation goal in the ninety-fourth minute with a fine left-footed strike from Furkhan Kopuz who collected the ball in the box due to some shoddy Arsenal defensive work.

It's hard to pick standouts in a match that was so one-sided, but Crowley, particularly in the first half, really shone. Maitland-Niles was ostensibly the DM in this match and while he looked sloppy in that position at times, he more than made up for it with his pace, strength and tackling ability. Iwobi, who captained the side, was also bright with his powerful runs. Willock continued to show his talent with some excellent dribbling skills and Zelalem is still as calm and composed as ever.

Arsenal's defense didn't have much to do, but were solid. Stefan O'Connor looked good, but had to come off injured. That could be a concern because he'd be in line to start for the first team in a couple of weeks, at this rate. Also, George Dobson looks like a hunchback when he gets in a defensive posture. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing.

Arsenal U19s will play next in UEFA Youth League action at Anderlecht on Tuesday, October 21st.