After an encouraging goalless draw away against Paris Saint-Germain’s u19 side last time out, Arsenal’s crop of talented youngsters were eager to kickstart their UEFA Youth League campaign with a home win over Basel on Wednesday.
Arsenal’s u23 side bounced back to winning ways in impressive style at Stamford Bridge on Friday evening, with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Adi Viveash’s side.
A goal out of seemingly nothing from substitute Éder in the second-half of extra time helped Portugal triumph as Euro 2016 champions. Despite France’s best efforts, they were unable to find the all-important goal for their dominance.
Portugal have won this year’s European Championships with a dramatic 1-0 victory over the host nation, France – courtesy of an extra-time strike from Éder. Despite France’s dominance in the early going, they were unable to find the goal to break the deadlock and Portugal’s grew as the game continued.
Goals from Fernandinho, Agüero from the penalty spot, as well as a well-taken double from talented youngster Kelechi Iheanacho helped Citizens to a welcome victory in the lunchtime kick-off.
City in control as Potters ship four once more
Manchester City‘s aims of finishing the 2015/16 campaign strongly were given a welcome boost after their surprising away draw with Rafa Benitez‘ Newcastle side in midweek – as they comprehensively saw off the challenge of Stoke City at home in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at the Ethiad.
Following their disappointing 1-1 draw on Sunday against Palace, Alexis Sánchez came to the fore and netted a well-taken brace to give the edgy Emirates crowd much-needed respite on Thursday evening.
Considering Arsenal‘s shortcomings of late, and the way they’ve managed to slip away from the title challenge following a succession of frustrating results, it was a must-win game for them on Thursday evening. West Bromwich Albion are again, by no means, an easy side to beat: but one that the Gunners should’ve had no trouble prevailing against.
Alexis’ brace gives Gunners some welcome cheer
A well-taken brace courtesy of Alexis Sánchez either side of the half-time interval, helped Arséne Wenger‘s side to victory. Given the occasion, and following recent results, this fixture had an end-of-season feel to it. On a school night, plenty of home supporters were eager to voice their concerns over the nature of progression – or seemingly lack of – from their side.
Despite their dominance, as well as chances created in the final third, Arsenal squandered yet more points courtesy of Yannick Bolasie’s second-half strike – in a season that is becoming one to forget.
Goals from Alexis Sánchez and Yannick Bolasie ensured that both sides shared the spoils in this London derby – but it was yet another game that Arsenal themselves really should’ve won.
It was a must-win match for Arsenal, make no mistake about that. Considering their inconsistent form saw them drop rather dramatically from the Premier League title race, they needed to keep pace with Manchester City and Tottenham to avoid falling away in quite frustrating fashion – something that has happened all-too-often in previous seasons. From the early exchanges, you would’ve felt it was inevitable that the Gunners would seal the victory too – but Crystal Palace, in spite of their faltering league form since the start of 2016, were always going to pose a threat against their London counterparts.
Sergio Agüero flexed his big-game muscles and netted a well-taken hat-trick as the Citizens strolled to a comfortable 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge against a sloppy Chelsea side.
Morale continues to rise within City camp
As a result, Manuel Pellegrini‘s men climb a place into third – with Arsenal set to face Crystal Palace in tomorrow afternoon’s clash from the Emirates. For a side that has struggled with consistency and faltered upon multiple occasions already this season, the sky Blues’ progression into the Champions League semi-finals has certainly rejuvenated the first-team squad: there is clear harmony between players and they’ve all been linking up together well in recent weeks.
Having stormed into a two-goal cushion, Arsenal capitulated in true Gunners’ fashion – and Laurent Koscielny was luckily on hand to salvage a point from a game in which they really should’ve taken all three.
Gunners get off to very promising start
Laurent Koscielny‘s second-half equaliser saved the Gunners‘ blushes in a match they really should’ve won: having stormed into a two-goal cushion before the half-time whistle at Upton Park. A hat-trick in the space of ten game minutes from Andy Carroll left the north Londoners on edge after a seemingly perfect start to proceedings against their London rivals, on Arsenal‘s final visit before West Ham make the lucrative move to the Olympic Stadium.
Goals from Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez were both well-taken, after inviting passes made by 19-year-old forward Alex Iwobi – notching up two assists in the process. The visitors were 2-0 up after 35 minutes, and many had suggested it’d be a routine victory from then on. You’d have assumed after their dreaded opening day defeat against Slaven Bilic‘s side, Arséne Wenger‘s men had learned to curb their attacking enthusiasm and stay defensively resolute under pressure.
Serge Gnabry was particularly excellent as the Gunners’ under-21 side flourished against a somewhat underwhelming Newcastle team at the Emirates – with Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere making welcome returns to competitive football.
Arsenal’s youngsters impress in convincing display
Goals from Daniel Crowley, Stephy Mavididi and Serge Gnabry helped the Young Guns leapfrog Aston Villa back into second place – with two games in hand over Derby County, whose lead at the summit has been cut down to five points. In-front of a well-attended crowd at the Emirates, following their narrow but frustrating exit from this year’s FA Youth Cup at the semi-final stage, Arsenal got off to the best possible start with two goals in quick succession.
Jack Wilshere made his long-awaited return to competitive football, whilst Tomas Rosicky also featured: the first-team midfielders were involved in both goals. First, it was initial great forward play between Rosicky and Mavididi. The latter teed up Crowley nicely, and he weaved past two defenders before keeping a cool head to slot home from close-range.