Sunday 03 March 2013
Arsenal rallied from two goals down to earn a Barclays Under-21 Premier League Eite Group point at West Bromwich Albion while Reading completed an impressive victory over Manchester City at the Madejski Stadium.
Arsenal recovered from two goals down to salvage a point against West Bromwich Albion in an exciting encounter at The Hawthorns.
Kemar Roofe and Adil Nabi scored either side of half-time to put the home side in control but a Wes Atkinson own goal and a strike from in-form forward Chuba Akpom salvaged a point for the Gunners, who were also indebted to goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski for a second-half penalty save.
West Brom initially found it difficult to find a way past the visitors, for whom Fabianski excelled in goal, but two minutes after Nabi was had been denied by the Poland international, Roofe buried the ball into the far corner with a low shot.
Nabi made it 2-0 five minutes after the interval with a fine run and shot but 12 minutes later Atkinson directed Nigel Neita’s effort past his own goalkeeper to give the Gunners hope. The Baggies were awarded a penalty but Fabianski crowned a fine afternoon by denying Romaine Sawyers from 12 yards out and, midway through the second half, Arsenal were level as Akpom converted Martin Angha’s cross.
Indeed the Londoners, who lie at the foot of the Elite Group, were unlucky not to steal a first victory of the Second Phase with three minutes remaining when Hector Bellerin thundered a left-footed shot against the post from 20 yards out.
Reading moved three points above Manchester City in Group 2 after completing a comfortable victory at Madejski Stadium.
The result was never in question once the Royals had raced into a three-goal lead inside the opening half-hour. The hosts were 2-0 up inside the opening three minutes with Craig Tanner setting them on their way when latching on to Ryan Edwards’s cross with fewer than 60 seconds played.
Just two minutes later the hosts had doubled their advantage as goalkeeper Eirik Johansen was beaten from 25 yards out by Lawson D’Ath’s low strike. The pick of the goals came when Dominic Samuel embarked on a mazy run which took him past four maroon shirts before he fired past Johansen.
City, boasting former Real Madrid forward Jose Poso La Rosa and the talented Denis Suarez in their team, were much improved after the break but the Royals, marshalled expertly at the back by defender Niall Keown, held firm for their third successive victory.
Friday 1 March
West Ham United 0-0 Manchester United
Fulham (Christensen) 1-0 Chelsea
Sunday 3 March
West Bromwich Albion (Roofe, Nabi) 2-2 Arsenal (Atkinson og, Akpom)
Reading (Tanner, D'Ath, Samuel) 3-0 Manchester City
Monday 4 March
Southampton v Liverpool, St Mary's Stadium, 7pm
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur, AFC Telford United, 7pm
Everton v Blackburn Rovers, Southport FC, 7pm
Middlesbrough v Aston Villa, Riverside Stadium, 7pm
Norwich City v Stoke City, Colney Training Centre, 1pm
Bolton Wanderers v Crystal Palace, Lancashire FA, 7pm
Download full fixture list here | For full results click here
To view the league tables after the qualificaton stage, click here