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Wednesday 03 October 2012

Barclays U21 Premier League: Wilshere returns as Arsenal falter

Gunners midfielder returns after long absence in loss at West Brom; Joe Cole scores for Liverpool

Jack Wilshere came through 63 minutes of action at The Hawthorns

For all Barclays U21 Premier League news, results and tables click here

Jack Wilshere made his long-awaited return to competitive action but could not prevent his side from losing to West Bromwich Albion in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Arsenal

After a 14-month absence Jack Wilshere returned to action for the Gunners, but despite playing for 62 minutes, could not prevent Yassine El Ghanassy from deciding the contest with a first-half strike.

It was a productive display by Wilshere, whose best moment came when he played Nico Yennaris though on goal with a delightful reverse pass, while Emmanuel Frimpong also got some much needed match practice as he continued his rehabilitation by making his second appearance since suffering a cruciate ligament injury which sidelined him for seven months.

However, it was West Brom who took the lead at The Hawthorns five minutes before the interval when El Ghanassy capped a bright performance by racing on to a through ball and coolly beating Damian Martinez.

The victory takes the Baggies up to third place in Group 1, two points behind Terry Burton's side and five behind leaders West Ham United.

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Liverpool 3-0 Fulham

Joe Cole marked his return from injury with a superb goal to help Liverpool seal a routine victory against Fulham and restore their Group 3 lead.

Liverpool's No10 was given a 60 minute run-out and got Rodolfo Borrell's side off to a promising start with the opening goal. Adam Morgan's low drive extended the hosts' lead after the break and Kristjan Adorjan rounded off the scoring with a deflected third goal for the Reds, who gave Portuguese youth international Joao Carlos Teixeira his U21s debut.

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Southampton 0-1 Stoke City

In Group 2 Stoke recorded their first victory of the season at  Southampton. Jordan Richardson and Daniel Bachmann proved the heroes of the hour for the visitors, the former for scoring the only goal of the game, the latter for saving an added-time penalty for the Potters, who move off the foot of the division, for at least four hours. For second-placed Southampton it was a first defeat of the campaign.

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Later on Monday evening Sunderland meet Manchester United, who defeated Newcastle United 4-2 on Friday night. The contest takes place at Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground and starts at 7pm. Admission is £3 for adults and £1 concessions, payable on the turnstiles. Season card holders get free entry. (Directions here)

Tottenham Hotspur take on Aston Villa in a Group 2 contest at White Hart Lane. Tickets are available to adults at £5 for seats in the West Lower Stand, to adult members at £3 and to junior and senior citizens at £1.

Selhurst Park again opens its doors to U21 action as Crystal Palace look to build on last week’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea against Manchester City. Tickets are priced at £5 for adults (£8 on match day) and £1 for concessions.

For all Barclays U21 Premier League news, results and tables click here

Monday, October 1st results

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Arsenal, The Hawthorns

Southampton 0-1 Stoke City, Staplewood training ground

Liverpool 3-0 Fulham, Liverpool Academy

Sunday, September 30th result

Everton 5-2 Bolton Wanderers, Finch Farm training ground

Friday, September 28th results

Reading 2-4 Blackburn Rovers, Hogwood Park
West Ham United 2-0 Norwich City, Rush Green Road

Manchester United 4-2 Newcastle United, Altrincham FC

Chelsea 1-3 Middlesbrough, Brentford FC

For all the results and the latest league tables, click here

For latest news on the Barclays U21 Premier League, click here.

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

*For tickets call 0844 844 0102 and dial option 2

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Key Points

  • Jack Wilshere returns for Arsenal in Barclays U21 match against West Brom
  • Emmanuel Frimpong also features in 1-0 reverse at The Hawthorns
  • Stoke stun Southampton with first win while Joe Cole scores for Liverpool in 3-0 defeat of Fulham