Tuesday 13 August 2013
Southampton edged a thrilling seven-goal match at Liverpool's Academy.
Jack Dunn put the home side ahead before the visitors scored three times in succession, through two strikes by Omar Rowe, either side of a goal from Jake Sinclair. But Liverpool were level by half-time thanks to a Vilyan Bijev penalty and a goal from Kristoffer Peterson.
Sinclair secured the winner for Southampton after 65 minutes of a match that pleased their coach Martin Hunter despite errors from his side that he wishes to see eradicated.
"There’ll be a lot of teams that come here and get nothing, but to be fair to ourselves and Liverpool, we’re trying to play in a certain way," Hunter said. "They’re a much younger team than they were last year, as are we, and that bodes well for both teams."
Norwich Academy's Head of Coaching Paul Nevin said the presence of first-team defender Sebastien Bassong in the starting XI helped inspire his side to victory at the Colney training ground.
After a goalless first half, Josh Murphy's free-kick put the home side ahead before his brother Jacob doubled the lead. Jamar Loza made it 3-0 before an own goal from Stoke’s Alex Grant. James Alabi got a late consolation for Stoke.
"The younger lads want to impress any time a senior player comes down, plus we have the management staff watching on the side so it inspires all of them," Nevin said.
Leicester City opened their inaugural season in the competition with victory at Hartlepool United's Victoria Park.
Middlesbrough had the chance to score the first goal but Andy Halliday's 12th-minute penalty was saved by Adam Smith and Jeff Schlupp took advantage of the let-off with a composed shot on 25 minutes.
Ben Marshall doubled the lead after the break with a fine chip and although Halliday's long-range strike reduced the deficit, Tom Hopper's superb left-foot strike sealed victory for Leicester.
Everton Under-21 manager Alan Stubbs paid tribute to his defence after last year's semi-finalists opened their campaign with a win over Wolves at Telford United's New Bucks Head Ground.
Hallam Hope scored at the second time of asking from close range on the hour while Conor Grant added the second with a fine free-kick with 15 minutes to go.
"[Goalkeeper] Mateusz Taudul made some good saves," Stubbs told the club's website. "Not just that, his kicking was good overall. It has been a little bit inconsistent and is an area that he needs to work on but tonight it was very good. Tyias [Browning] defended really well and maturely. You can see big signs of improvement and he needs to keep doing that.
"The other lads around him did really well. Jonjoe Kenny at right-back did smashing for someone who has just turned 16."
Reading goalscorer Dom Samuel paid tribute to his team-mates after they claimed victory in a six-goal thriller at the Madejski Stadium.
The home side, watched by first-team manager Nigel Adkins, took the lead on eight minute through Gozie Ugwu but Gael Bigirimana replied for Newcastle soon after from the penalty spot. The visitors took the lead through Adam Armstrong, only for Ugwu to score again to cap a frantic opening 15 minutes.
Lawson D'Ath gave Reading the lead for the second time with 13 minutes remaining before Samuel wrapped up the scoring in stoppage time.
"The lads were terrific and we moved the ball really well," Samuel told the club's website. "It's a competitive league this year with great teams - but we've got that first win so hopefully we can get a winning streak."
The Black Cats brought their pre-season form into the start of the regular campaign as they claimed victory over Bolton Wanderers.
Jordan Laidler scored the only goal, nipping in front of the Bolton defence to convert Liam Marrs' cross with 15 minutes to go, while Bolton's Andre Moritz hit the bar in the first half.
Alex Jones scored just before half-time to give the Baggies victory at the club's training ground.
Jones headed home on 39 minutes from close range when he reacted to Rovers goalkeeper David Raya tipping away Kemar Roofe's cross.
Rovers had chances in the first half with Fabio Nunes' free-kick just over the bar, while in the second period, Raya made a fine double save from Jones and Aaron Birch.
Elliot Lee claimed a brace to secure an impressive victory over an Aston Villa side featuring Gary Gardner and Marc Albrighton.
West Ham made the early running at Rush Green and Lee could have given the home side the lead but missed a chance from eight yards. He made up for it soon after, when he tapped in from Dylan Tombides' cross then headed in a second when Pelly Ruddock's effort hit the bar.
Sebastian Lletget sealed victory in the closing stages when he smashed home George Moncur's corner.
Chelsea (McEachran, Brown) 2-4 Tottenham Hotspur (Falque 2, Kane, Coulthirst)
Manchester City (Hiwula) 1-2 Fulham (Woodrow 2)
Liverpool (Dunn, Bijev, Peterson) 3-4 Southampton (Rowe 2, Sinclair 2)
Middlesbrough (Halliday) 1-3 Leicester City (Schlupp, Marshall, Hopper)
Norwich City (Josh Murphy, Jake Murphy, Loza, Grant og) 4-1 Stoke City (Alabi)
Reading (Ugwu 2, D'Ath Samuel) 4-2 Newcastle United (Bigirimana, Armstrong)
Sunderland (Laidler) 1-0 Bolton Wanderers
West Bromwich Albion (Alex Jones) 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
West Ham United (Lee 2, Lletget) 3-0 Aston Villa
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Everton (Hope, Grant)
You can follow developments in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League throughout the season on Twitter with the Premier League's account @premierleague or via the hashtag #BU21PL