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Arsenal v Spurs, 22.04.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


         Premier U-21 League, Elite Group
            Underhill Stadium, Barnet
           Monday 22nd April 2013, 7pm

             ARSENAL    v    SPURS 
           (Red/White)     (All Blue)
              4-5-1          4-3-3

               0(0)           1(0)

    Emiliano Martinez   1  Jonathan Miles
       Carl Jenkinson   2  Ryan Fredericks
        Jermade Meade   3  Jack Barthram
        Nico Yennaris   4  Giancarlo Gallifuoco
         Issac Hayden   5  Grant Hall(C)
        Sead Hajrovic   6  Ezekiel Fryers
    Kristoffer Olsson   7  Kenneth McEvoy
     Francis Coquelin   8  Nabil Bentaleb
          Chuba Akpom   9  Shaquile Coulthirst
       Gedion Zelalem  10  Thomas Carroll
         Serge Gnabry  11  Cristian Ceballos

      Hector Bellerin  12  Jake Nicholson
                           (8)67Mins.
           James Shea  13  Lawrence Vigouroux
       Elton Monteiro  14  Laste Dombaxe
                           (4)80Mins.
       Craig Eastmond  15  Darren McQueen
         Sanchez Watt  16 
          (10)63Mins.

Scorer:-
                           Bentaleb 46

Booked:-
                           Barthram 59(Not 10Yds)
                           Fredericks 74(Foul)

Coaches:-
        S. Gatting         T. Sherwood

Attendance:- 2,394

Referee: A. Hopkins
Assistants: S. Moore & G. Maskell
Fourth Official: I. Corner

8 points clear at the top of the group!

It was a cool evening for the last game at Underhill as Barnet are moving to a new stadium. While the "Bees" played their last home game on Saturday, the Arsenal, who have played their reserves here for a number of years, will also have to find a new home.

Spurs brought a large support with them (The Fighting Cock's 1882 Squad)as they did the last time they played the gooners here in 2009, Spurs ran out comfortable 3-0 winners then. I did not get a press pass as they said the press box was full which it wasn't so I had to sit with the home fans as I was not allowed to join the Spurs supporters.

Spurs lined up with Miles behind Hall and Fryers with Fredericks at right back and Barthram on the left. Gallifuoco anchored the midfield with Bentaleb and Carroll while Coulthirst led the line with McEvoy and Ceballos. It was good to see Nicholson fit to make the bench.

Spurs defended the south end playing up the slope in the first half. McEvoy started on the left and made early telling runs down the wing finding Coulthirst with one cross that Martinez saved. The keeper quickly sent the ball downfield for Akprom to run onto and fire wide.

Coulthirst collected a ball out of defence and spread it wide to McEvoy to take it down the line. He pulled the ball back to Bentaleb in the centre who slipped a diagonal pass to Carroll getting round the back on the left, but his effort hit the side netting. Martinez saved a Ceballos free kick from the right and had to save from the same player when he got on the end of another McEvoy cross.

Ceballos fired over before squaring the ball to Carroll who played it through the left channel for Coulthirst to hit the near post with his drive. McEvoy switched sides and was played in for a chance that was saved. Jenkinson got down the right and pulled the ball back for Gnabry to test Miles.

Gallifuoco got forward to fire wide and Fryers also had a chance that he put over the bar. In added time at the end of the half Spurs should have got that opening goal when Coulthirst collected on the halfway line, turned and played a one two with Ceballos to get clear but could not beat Martinez.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw the ball sent down the left for McEvoy to collect and cross into the box for Bentaleb to turn into the net. It took all of 12 seconds from the whistle to the goal.

Spurs continued to dominate with Gallifuoco firing wide and Martinez saving from Ceballos when he was sent through the middle. The keeper saved from Ceballos again when he got on the end of another McEvoy cross.

The referee gave the home side a free kick on the edge of the area when Akprom went to ground, something he did a lot during the game. When Yennaris hit the kick Barthram charged the ball down needing treatment before getting up and seeing the referee waving a yellow card for encroachment. Jenkinson retook the free kick and hit it over the bar.

Arsenal made the first change bringing on a second striker and tried to take the game to the visitors. Meade got down the left and pulled the ball back for Akprom to crash it against the crossbar. Gnabry hit the rebound over the bar at the far post. Akprom collected a pass from Watt but fired wide before Spurs made their first change replacing Bentaleb with Nicholson.

Watt tried his luck from distance firing over the bar before Ceballos fired just wide from the edge of the area. When a Spurs attack broke down, the ball was played out to the left where Fredericks got the better of Watt to concede a throw-in. The referee felt he had fouled Watt and booked him.

Coulthirst got away from Hajrovic to collect a pass from Carroll but Martinez saved. The striker got away again going left, but this time his shot hit the post. Spurs made another change with Dombaxe replacing Gallifuoco.

Olsson took a free kick quickly (while the referee was sorting out the Spurs wall) to Akprom at the near post but Miles was alert to block his effort. In added time Meade fired in a cross-shot that Miles saved at his near post, allowing the ball to bounce at his feet. The referee gave a corner to the home side, which surprised the keeper. With time running out the corner was wasted not reaching the near post.

This was a comfortable win for Spurs, even if they did not get the goals that they should have, with their dominance. Having beat them 4-2 at Hotspur Way this completed the double over our North London rivals. In the first half they played the ball on the deck for most of the time while in the second they played more long balls over the top down the slope. Spurs now have an eight point lead with one to play over Manchester United who have three games left. Top spot looks almost certain and a home tie in the semi-finals.

Next Monday Spurs travel to Southampton for their last game of the group. The match will be at Southampton's Staplewood training ground with a 2.30pm kick-off. I hope to be there as thre is restricted entry. Before then the U-18's make their bid for a play-off place with two games. The first at leaders Sunderland on Friday morning followed by their last group game at West Bromich on Saturday at midday.

Ray

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