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Friday 05 April 2013

Barclays U21s: Saints go third after sinking Arsenal

Harrison Reed's winner sinks Gunners; Aston Villa edge Chelsea at Cobham; Magpies make point

Southampton's Jake Sinclair (No9) is congratulated on his equalising goal against Arsenal

Southampton third successive Barclays Under-21 Premier League win took them up to thid place in the Elite Group, while Aston Villa are making progress in Group 1.

Southampton 2-1 Arsenal

Southampton moved up to third place in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Elite Group with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Silverlake Stadium.

The visitors had the better of the opening stages and took the lead through Craig Eastmond, whose powerful strike flew past Saints goal keeper Paulo Gazzaniga and into the top left corner of his net.

The hosts responded well, however, and equalised in the 24th minute when Jake Sinclair, brother of Manchester City forward Scott, pounced on a scuffed clearance and coolly found the corner from distance.

Just after the break, Martin Hunter’s charges took the lead through Harrison Reed, who opened his account for the Under-21 side with a superb dipping volley from outside the area. Saints closed out the match to earn a third consecutive win in the Elite Group and leapfrog Liverpool into third place. Hunter’s side lie level with second-placed Manchester United, who have a game in hand, and 10 points adrift of leaders Tottenham Hotspur.

Southampton report | Arsenal report

Chelsea 1-2 Aston Villa

Aston Villa earned their second victory over Chelsea within the space of a week after the Blues missed an added-time penalty in an entertaining Group 1 win for the visitors at Cobham training ground.

Villa took the lead in the first half through Daniel Johnson, who scored his fifth goal in his last three Under-21 matches, but the hosts drew level six minutes later when Connor Hunte converted John Swift’s cutback from close range.

The visitors regained the lead after enjoying the better of the second period when Daniel Devine powerfully headed home a Courtney Cameron free-kick and though Chelsea piled on the pressure late on they failed to make it count, as Milan Laklovic chipped a 90th-minute penalty over the crossbar after Aziz Deen-Conteh was brought down by Devine.

The result moves Aston Villa up to second in Group 1, three points behind Everton. Chelsea missed out on the chance to overtake Villa and lie fifth in the table.

Chelsea report | Aston Villa report

Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Newcastle United

Romain Amalfitano’s late penalty helped Newcastle United extend their unbeaten run to six matches in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League with a 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderers.

After an evenly-contested first half Bolton, who were looking for third victory in the second phase of the inaugural Barclays Premier League, took the lead midway through the second half when Jack Sampson finished from close range, following good work from Chris Lester.

The visitors levelled with seven minutes left on the clock through French midfielder Amalfitano’s  first goal of the season, who obliged from 12 yards after captain James Tavernier had been felled inside the area.

Newcastle are now on 12 points after seven matches and lie eight points adrift of runaway leaders Reading, who have played two matches more than the Magpies.

Bolton report | Newcastle report

Barclays Under-21 Premier League results  

4 April
Elite Group

Southampton 2-1 Arsenal (Sinclair, Reed; Eastmond)

Group 1
Chelsea 1-2 Aston Villa (Hunte; Johnson, Devine)

Group 2
Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Newcastle United (Sampson; Amalfitano)

Download full fixture list here  | For full results click here

To view the league tables after the qualificaton stage, click here

You can follow developments on Twitter with the Premier League's account @premierleague or via the hashtag #BU21PL

Key Points

  • Southampton move third in Elite Group after Barclays Under-21 Premier League win over Arsenal
  • Aston Villa up to second in Group 1 after victory at Chelsea
  • Romain Amalfitano on target from spot for Newcastle against Bolton

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