Arsenal U19 v. Galatasary U19 - UEFA Youth League - Oct. 1st
In the second live-streamed youth match of the season, the young Gunners beat up on Gala U19 5-1. You can read my match report here. Like the Villa match in last week's edition, more film to play with! Let's start with the non-highlight highlights.
Stefan O'Connor has trained with the first-team recently. I promise. He just momentarily thought he was playing FIFA Street.
Spoiler alert: Alex Iwobi scored in this match. This shot was just too great. Best parts for me:
1. Downtrodden Gala player.
2. Ainsley Maitland-Niles looking ashamed of Iwobi, causing Iwobi to feel shame.
3. The dance move itself.
Now time for some actual highlights.
Dan Crowley was the star of the show in this match. His presence was felt throughout the match. Here are three situations early on which show how central he was to our threatening moments.
Maitland-Niles, who has generally featured as a winger in this season's youth campaign, played the Arteta/DM role in a 4-2-3-1 in this match. This gif does a good job summing up his play in that role: he does some of the simple things incorrectly, but his pace and strength make up for any poor decisions in judgment.
This week in Buccaneering Arsenal Youth Center Backs: Stefan O'Connor! O'Connor atones for his earlier mistake and earns Arsenal a FK in a dangerous position.
Gedion Zelalem played in the Ramsey/CM role in this match and took a page out of Rambo's book with this tricky run and goal, Zelalem's first ever for Arsenal. Unfortunately, he still isn't old enough to drink in England, so he had to celebrate with sparkling grape juice.
Kaylen Hinds led Arsenal to a win against Borussia Dortmund U19 in the previous round of play and has a nice finish here after some good work by Tafari Moore, playing on the wrong side of defense at left back.
Chris Willock scores here to add to Gala's misery.
I told you Iwobi scored. Nice assist from MOTM Crowley here.
Nice ball from Zelalem springs Crowley free and he earns the PK. I'll save your bandwidth and just let you know Crowley dusted himself off and banged it in to make it 5.
Zelalem to Crowley again here for another scoring opportunity. I haven't not dreamed of them doing stuff like this.
In the most consolation-y of all consolation goals, Gala pulls one back on one of the last kicks of the match. The clean sheet was thrown through the mud.
Arsenal U18 v. Fulham U18 - Sept. 27th
This match was very one-sided to start, as you will see from the following GIFs. Actually, let's just get these all out of the way:
They were pouring it on us. Some good saves by Ryan Huddert were all that was in the way of Fulham blowing us out. But then, MOTM Kaylen Hinds came on as a substitute...
This kid has some skill.
Stephy Mavididi (hello, Google Searchers of "Stephy Mavididi") adds to his tally of goals with a nice effort off a Hinds cross.
I swear those are different GIFs/goals. Hinds completed the comeback with two nearly identical finishes.
Aaron Eyoma had a chance to make it 4, but couldn't score here after a nice cross by Ben Sheaf.
Arsenal U18 v. Southampton U18 - Oct. 4th
Another spoiler alert: this game ended 0-0. However, from the highlights Arsenal provided, it was definitely in the "Arsenal-Real Madrid at Highbury in '06" category rather than the "Literally any Jose team in the away leg of a CL tie" category from an excitement standpoint.
Soton had an early chance here to score, but that massive drops of rain on the pitch must have impeded their play. Someone get a squeegee.
Stephy definitely should have done better here.
Josh Vickers, feeling intimidated by Huddart's saves versus Fulham, decided he needed to step his game up. Excellent save from a smart, inventive backheel shot.
This Hinds kid is pretty skilled.
Tyrell Robinson really should have done better here after being played in by Willock.
Hinds just cannot get the header on target after a good cross in from Robinson.
Some more excellent work by Vickers. Definitely earned his stipend, or whatever it is schoolboys get paid, this week.
I'm still confused how this was not a goal. If someone can explain that to me, they'll get a prize.