Thursday 23 August 2012
There were goals galore in Monday night's matches in the Barclays U21 Premier League with an average of almost four a match across the five fixtures.
Arsenal came from a man and a goal down to open their campaign with a victory against Bolton Wanderers. Tempted by ticket prices as low as £1 for kids and £3 for adults, more than 4,000 fans came to the Emirates Stadium on Monday evening in the first of the league's matches to take place in the main stadium of the competition's clubs.
Those fans enjoyed a dramatic match that swung the away side's way when Arsenal goalkeeper Damian Martinez fouled Chris Lester to award Bolton a penalty and earn himself a red card. James Shea, the substitute goalkeeper, was unable to stop Adam Blakeman's spot-kick.
But despite being outnumbered the home team responded after half-time with a brace from Conor Henderson and a goal from Thomas Eisfeld. (For a full match report click here)
Norwich City also came from behind to win by the same scoreline in their match at home to Blackburn Rovers, with all the Canaries' goals coming from Jamar Loza. Rovers took the lead at City’s Colney training ground through Raheem Hanley, but Loza struck twice before half-time and completed his hat-trick after the break. (For a full match report click here)
Southampton were another side to score three at home but were pushed closer by Sunderland to emerge 3-2 winners at the Saints' training ground. Sam Hoskins gave the home side the lead but Sunderland levelled matters in the second half through Jordan Laidler. Calum Chambers restored Southampton's lead with a header that Hoskins doubled before Laidler got his second. (For a full match report click here)
Middlesbrough went top of Group Three with a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace. Matty Dolan opened the scoring with a long-range shot midway through the first half and the lead was doubled three minutes later by Wilson Kneeshaw. A third was added before the break by Ryan Brobbel and Jarrett Rivers, who was a half-time substitute, completed the scoring at Boro's Rockcliffe Park training ground. (For a full match report click here)
Liverpool were held by Wolverhampton Wanderers at their Academy in their afternoon fixture. Michael Ngoo, who has had an impressive pre-season, gave the Reds a first-half lead but Wolves came back to claim a point through Sam Winnall. (For a full match report click here)
Matchweek 1 results
Arsenal 3-1 Bolton Wanderers
Norwich City 3-1 Blackburn Rovers
West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Everton
West Ham United 2-1 Reading
Newcastle United 6-4 Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City 0-1 Manchester United
Southampton 3-2 Sunderland
Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City
Liverpool 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Middlesbrough 1-1 Crystal Palace