Spurs 9-0 Arsenal (U18s) - report from Hotspur Way
Tue 24 April 2018, 14:34|Tottenham Hotspur
Reo Griffiths scored four as our Under-18s rounded off their league season with a dominant victory over a slightly younger Arsenal side at Hotspur Way on Tuesday.
In a reversal of fortunes from November, when our young team suffered a 6-0 defeat at the hands of the Gunners at their training ground, we overpowered our north London rivals, who finished with nine men, to leapfrog Leicester City and secure a fourth place finish in the Under-18 Premier League.
Dilan Markanday built on an impressive performance in last week’s 3-0 win at Chelsea with a brace, while Rodel Richards set us on the way with two goals of his own in the first half. An own-goal from Arsenal’s Mazeed Ogungbo accounted for the rest of the scoreline.
It means Scott Parker’s first domestic campaign in charge has concluded with excellent team performances in back-to-back London derby victories, with attentions now turning to the end-of-season tournaments in Germany and Holland, where he’ll be looking for further development from his players.
Griffiths was denied by goalkeeper Daniel Barden and then saw a fabulous volley ruled out for off-side before embarking on a powerful run and setting the ball up for Richards to run onto and curl into the top corner to give us a 28th-minute lead.
Richards doubled his tally on the half-hour, ramming into the net after TJ Eyoma’s header from a corner was blocked, before we made it three goals in six minutes. Griffiths appeared to be fouled as he burst in from the left but the ball ran kindly for Markanday, who beat his man in the box and clipped low into the corner.
Barden saved Griffiths’ attempted chip before opposite number Jonathan De Bie tipped Miguel Azeez’s deflected free-kick behind with a flying save on the stroke of half-time.
Griffiths picked up a cross-field ball to fire home on his right foot four minutes after the restart before working the ball across to Markanday to score from a similar position six minutes later. Jamie Bowden picked out Armando Shashoua whose header hit the bar at the end of a fine move but when Bowden was upended as he went for the rebound, Griffiths scored from the spot with 67 minutes gone.
Above: Dilan Markanday (7), Reo Griffiths and Rayan Clarke celebrate.
Less than 60 seconds later, Arsenal substitute Ogungo accidentally steered past his own keeper with Griffiths closing in again before the striker completed his fourth hat-trick of the season – and second against the Gunners after a treble in our 4-1 home victory in the League Cup semi-finals in February – by chipping Barden from an acute angle after Bowden set him up.
De Bie saved from Armstrong Okoflex but Arsenal lost two players to injury with 10 minutes left and, having used all their allotted substitutes, were forced to play on with nine men. We made it 9-0 two minutes from time when Tariq Hinds won a tackle in the Arsenal area and Griffiths converted from eight yards.
Coach Scott Parker said
“It was a fantastic performance. The lads played really well. The last two games have been really good in that sense – goals, good attacking play and two clean sheets against two very good teams. Obviously it’s important to remember that Arsenal beat us 6-0 earlier in the season and they’ve got a big game coming up in the FA Youth Cup Final where they might have some different players on display, but our finishing was very good and our all-round play was very pleasing. From start to finish we played some lovely football through the lines and penetrated really well. It was a really good way to finish the league season and it effectively guarantees fourth place in the table as well.”
Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Tainio, Hinds, Skipp (Thorpe 76), Eyoma (P Maghoma 76), Dinzeyi, Markanday, Bowden, Griffiths, A Shashoua, Richards (Clarke 68). Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Mukendi.
After a friendly against Watford Under-18s this weekend, the players will combine with some members of our Under-23 squad for two challenging end-of-season tournaments overseas. We return to Stemwede, Germany, between 9 and 13 May before again heading to Terborg in the Netherlands between 24 and 27 May.