Tuesday 18 December 2012
Southampton qualified for the Elite Group Stage of the inaugural Barclays Under21 Premier League last night with a 5-1 victory over Newcastle United.
The south-coast side were lying fifth in Group 2 before the match but their win, combined with Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-1 victory over Aston Villa, meant that Southampton leapt to third and their record of 19 points was one better than Chelsea in a similar position in Group 3.
Goals from Tadanari Lee and Sam Hoskins gave Southampton a 2-0 lead at half-time. Ben Reeves extended their advantage shortly after the break and after Newcastle swiftly pulled one back through Adam Campbell’s deflected shot, Hoskins restored the three-goal cushion on 63 minutes. Reeves then got his second late on to seal the crucially emphatic victory.
Scott Parker continued his comeback from injury for Tottenham Hotspur with a goal as they beat Aston Villa 3-1 and confirmed themselves winners of Group 2.
Twenty-four hours after coming on as a late substitute in the 1-0 victory over Swansea City in the Barclays Premier League, the England midfielder started and put Spurs 2-0 up on the stroke of half-time. Ryan Mason had broken the deadlock for Tottenham on the half-hour.
Villa needed to avoid defeat to qualify for the Elite Group Stage and as they went in search of a comeback during the second half, they left their defence exposed and Souleymane Coulibaly punished them with a third goal late in the game. The defeat meant that Villa will play in the Qualification Group Tier 1 in the new year.
Norwich City concluded their campaign with a 3-1 victory against Group 1 winners West Ham United thanks to a double strike by Harry Kane.
The 19-year-old, who is on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, put Norwich ahead on 25 minutes when he finished off a sweeping move involving Josh Murphy and Jamar Loza and Kane was also upended in the second half, enabling Ozumide Durojaiye to double the lead from the penalty spot.
West Ham, for whom Jack Collison made a return to midfield from long-term injury, passed up the chance to pull a goal back when Remi Matthews saved Jordan Spence's spot-kick and within a minute Kane had made it 3-0. The Hammers reduced the arrears through Nathan mavial's free-kick with five minutes remining.
In Group 3 Fulham held on to sixth place as they shared a 1-1 draw with Manchester City at Platt Lane.
Ryan Williams opened the scoring for the visitors in the first period, before England youth international George Evans equalised for Attilio Lombardo's charges with a long-range strike.
“We scored a good goal in the first half through Ryan,” Fulham's Development coach Kit Symons told fulhamfc.com. “It was good build-up play; a pull-back from Charles Banya and Ryan was there on the edge of the box to slot home with a calm finish.
“I thought we were by far the better team in the first half and should have gone in two or three up really. We didn’t make our dominance count so I stressed that point to the boys at half-time.
Monday, 17 December, 2012
Norwich City 3-1 West Ham United
Aston Villa 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Southampton 5-1 Newcastle United
Manchester City 1-1 Fulham
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