Tuesday 13 November 2012
Tottenham Hotspur stretched their impressive run to five victories in six Barclays Under-21 Premier League matches as they hit four unanswered goals past Southampton at White Hart Lane.
Yago Falque was the star of the show with two sublime first-half strikes either side of Jon Obika’s header, while Souleymane Coulibaly added gloss to the scoreline after the interval.
Obika glanced in Tom Carroll's cross midway through the first period, three minutes after Falque had finished off Dean Parrett's 70-yard break for the opening goal, but it was the Spaniard's second that was the show-stopper – a left-footed long shot that flew into the top corner in off the inside of the post on the stroke of half-time.
Coulibaly's 20-yard effort with nine minutes was Tottenham's 18th goal in a four-match winning sequence that has taken them two points clear at the top of Group 2.
Manchester United lie second in the section after leapfrogging Newcastle United following a 2-1 victory on Tyneside.
"Two goals from set-plays was very disappointing"
The visitors took the lead against the run of play when Tom Thorpe rose to head Adnan Januzaj’s corner past Newcastle goalkeeper Jak Alnwick two minutes into the second half.
The Magpies had made most of the running and were unfortunate to find themselves behind but responded with an equaliser just before the hour-mark when Jonny Sutherland fumbled Marcus Maddison's free-kick and Conor Newton pounced.
The hosts continued to press in search of a winner but were caught on the hop from another Januzaj corner, which was tucked away by substitute Tom Lawrence.
"Two goals from set-plays was very disappointing," Newcastle Under-21s manager Willie Donachie told the club’s official website. "I don't think young players really appreciate the importance at both ends of being brave and really sticking your head on it, which is the most important thing."
Aston Villa moved to within a place of third-placed Newcastle in Group 2 thanks to a narrow 2-1 win against Sunderland.
Marc Albrighton and Graham Burke struck early on to give Gordan Cowans's side a two-goal lead after 13 minutes but Sunderland pulled a goal back just before half-time through Alex Gorrin and might have come away with at least a point had it not been for the heroics of Villa goalkeeper Craig Hill, who made a succession of spectacular saves in a frenetic second half.
Marko Marin was among the scorers as Chelsea completed back-to-back Group 3 wins for the first time this season with a 4-1 defeat of Crystal Palace.
"Patrick Bamford showed some great movement up front which allowed Marko Marin to play as a No10"
It was an influential display by the Germany international, who laid on Todd Kane’s opening goal before heading his side back in front after Palace had equalised through Jason Banton. Patrick Bamford extended the Blues’ lead with a 25-yard strike on 34 minutes, while Lewis Baker’s 81st-minute strike somehow squirmed under Eagles goalkeeper Lewis Price.
"It was a pleasing performance because Palace are a tough side and we had to fight for the right to play because they are good at pressing us," said Chelsea Under-21 manager Dermot Drummy, whose side are now four points behind the elusive second place they need to secure to reach the Elite Group stage
"Once the game opened up we got some very good goals and Patrick Bamford showed some great movement up front which allowed Marko Marin to play as a No10, and that worked quite well."
Reading and Everton each spurned an opportunity to climb to third place in Group 1 after dropping points against sides beneath them. The Royals were held to a goalless draw by Bolton Wanderers at a wet Hogwood Park, while Everton went down 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers.
Reading fielded five scholars with Brynjar Gunnarsson adding experience but they were unable to find a goal against the group’s bottom club that would have sent them above Norwich City into the automatic qualifying places for the Elite Group Stage.
For Everton international call-ups forced manager Alan Stubbs to name several Under-18 players alongside the experience of Sylvain Distin, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Jan Mucha. Everton striker Hallam Hope diverted a corner into his own net midway through the first half to give Blackburn the lead.
Conor Grant secured an equaliser for the home team just before the break but despite Everton pressure in the second period, it was Blackburn who scored next with Bruno Ribeiro’s shot going in off a post for the winner.
Reading are on 15 points, a point behind Norwich, with three more fixtures to play while Everton sit two points farther back. The two sides play each other on Sunday.
Friday 9 November
Arsenal 1-2 West Ham United
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Middlesbrough
Sunday 11 November
West Bromwich Albion 4-0 Norwich City
Monday 12 November
Everton 1-2 Blackburn Rovers
Reading 0-0 Bolton Wanderers
Aston Villa 2-1 Sunderland
Newcastle United 1-2 Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Southampton
Chelsea 4-1 Crystal Palace
For all the fixtures and the latest league tables, click here