Tuesday 03 December 2013

Barclays U21s: Fulham edge out Everton to go top

Rene Meulensteen watches as Cottagers win; Sunderland move up to third, Wolves beat Spurs

  • George Williams in action against Everton. Courtesy: Martin Goldthorpe/Fulham FC

  • Muamer Tankovic celebrates his late winner. Courtesy: Martin Goldthorpe/Fulham FC

  • Samed Yesil scores Liverpool's first goal against Aston Villa

  • Blackburn's Jordan Slew holds off Fabio da Silva of Man Utd

  • Sunderland's Liam Agnew and Arsenal's Jon Toral challenge for the ball

Fulham returned to the top of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League with a home win over Everton, while Sunderland are up to third following an impressive 5-1 success away at Arsenal.

Fulham 2-1 Everton

Fulham moved to the top of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League as they stretched their unbeaten run in to 11 matches under the watchful eye of the first team's new manager Rene Meulensteen.

The Cottagers produced two goals in the last five minutes to achieve a battling victory after conceding a second-half header from JonJoe Kenny. Manager Kit Symons responded to the setback by sending on 16-year-old substitute Patrick Roberts, who almost levelled with a fierce drive, but it was Jack Grimmer who produced the Whites' equaliser on 86 minutes, when he swept in Josh Passley's cross and the comeback was complete when Muamer Tankovic struck in added time.

The win takes Fulham to the summit of the division, a point clear of West Ham United, while Everton, for whom this was a first defeat in six outings, are eight points back with a game in hand over the early pacesetters.

Fulham report | Everton report

Arsenal 1-5 Sunderland

Sunderland are up to third place after pulling off the stand-out result of the evening by putting five goals past Arsenal with the help of a Michael Mandron hat-trick.

A goal by Duncan Watmore and Mandron's brace gave the Black Cats a three-goal cushion with just 51 minutes on the clock before the Gunners, who had yet to taste defeat this season, responded through Jon Toral's 64th-minute strike. But, despite the presence of Emiliano Viviano in goal for the Gunners, it proved a debut to forget for the former Italy goalkeeper as Mandron completed his treble in the 90th-minute after Craig Lynch’s drilled strike had made it 4-1 to the visitors with 15 minutes remaining.

Their sixth win of the campaign takes puts Sunderland to within two points of the summit.

Arsenal report | Sunderland report

Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa

Liverpool are just a point further back in fourth following their comfortable home win over Aston Villa at Langtree Park.

Samed Yesil and Michael Ngoo weighed in with first-half goals as Alex Inglethorpe's side impressed in their first league encounter for over a month.

The Reds took the lead on 25 minutes, with Joao Carlos Teixeira embarking on a mazy run before spotting Yesil in space, and the Germany U21 international applied a composed finish, and Ngoo put the hosts in the driving seat when heading Brad Smith’s fine cross into the net. If they win their game in hand, Liverpool will move level at the top of the table with Fulham.

Liverpool report | Aston Villa report

Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Eusebio Bancessi scored his first hat-trick for the club as Wolves claimed victory over last year's Under-21 finalists at Compton Park.

Spurs had taken the lead through an own goal from Ethan Ebanks-Landell after only two minutes but the hosts were level three minutes later when Bancessi smashed home from six yards out.

Bancessi then put his side in front on 20 minutes from close range after Spurs failed to clear a corner and victory was sealed on 56 minutes when he converted from the penalty spot after Lee Evans was fouled in the area.

Wolverhampton Wanderers report | Tottenham Hotspur report

Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Manchester United

Wilfried Zaha gave an impressive goalscoring performance as Manchester United overcame Blackburn Rovers at the Leigh Sports Village.

The summer arrival from Crystal Palace shone throughout and ended the hosts' resistance with an opening goal midway through the second half. James Wilson, who has just turned 18, clinched the three points with a fine free-kick on his first Barclays Under-21 Premier League start for a side that fielded the experienced Fabio, Darren Fletcher and Zaha, who all started in their last outing against Stoke City.

Zaha had caused Rovers problems with his trickery throughout the match and scored after a delightful give and go with Fabio, while England Under-19 international Wilson left visiting goalkeeper Matty Urwin with no chance as his 76th-minute strike was hammered low into the far corner.

Blackburn Rovers report | Manchester United report

Newcastle United 1-1 Chelsea

A first-half equaliser from Jeremie Boga ensured Chelsea took a point back from their trip to Newcastle to cancel out striker Adam Campbell's early opening goal.

The deadlock was broken inside 15 minutes when Campbell showed quick feet on the edge of the Chelsea area before toe-poking beyond Jamal Blackman into the bottom corner from 15 yards. The visitors levelled five minutes before the interval when Boga sent a strike high into the net from the edge of the area for his first Barclays Under-21 goal of the season. The draw takes the Blues up to fifth place in the standings.

Newcastle United report | Chelsea report

Reading 1-1 Norwich City

A 76th-minute equaliser from Carlton Morris gave the Canaries a draw at Basingstoke Town's Camrose Ground.

The Royals had taken an early lead through a fine solo goal from Craig Tanner, who picked up a loose ball on the right hand touchline and skipped through the Norwich defence to slot home after only 11 minutes.

Cameron Norman's effort for Norwich was well saved by goalkeeper Stuart Moore on 74 minutes but two minutes later Morris levelled the match when he dribbled into the area before finishing into the corner.

"It's a bit of disappointing result," said Norwich U21s manager Mark Robson. "Their goal came from our set-piece and we had worked on that on the training ground. Other than that we pressed them well and we had a number of great chances.

"Second half – to be fair to the boys – I thought they responded well. We deserved the equaliser and it was a fantastic goal by Carlton."

Reading report | Norwich City

West Ham United 2-2 Leicester City

Leicester City fought back from two goals down to draw with West Ham United at Rush Green.

Paul McCallum gave the hosts the perfect start when he bundled in from George Moncur's cross after only two minutes and the Hammers made it two just before the break with Elliott Lee's spot kick.

But the Foxes rallied after half-time and reduced the deficit with 61 minutes gone when Adam Dawson fired home after controlling well in the area and 12 minutes later, James Pearson produced a fine right-footed effort that went into the corner.

"The lads were a credit to the club with the way they performed and the opposition were very complimentary afterwards," said Leicester Development Squad manager Steve Beaglehole. "They said we were the best team they've played all season, and they've played some real quality teams."

West Ham United report | Leicester City report

West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Southampton

Sam Gallagher scored two goals for Southampton as West Brom suffered their first defeat since September.

The Baggies took the early initiative and went ahead on 17 minutes thanks a superb strike from Aaron Birch that flew in from 25 yards out.

Saints replied 10 minutes later when Gallagher scored his first, firing in from the edge of the area from Ryan Seager's cross. Gallagher headed in Southampton's second on 73 minutes before Jake Sinclair secured the three points for the visitors with a penalty nine minutes from time.

"I'm delighted with the whole game," said Saints coach Martin Hunter. "Apart from five minutes, that's probably the best domination we've had in a game. All the players, including the two lads that came late on, were terrific – that's the standard we're trying to aspire to."

West Bromwich Albion report | Southampton report

Under-21 Premier League Cup

Bristol City 1-2 West Ham United

Two goals in the space of nine second-half minutes took West Ham United through to the round of 16 of the Under-21 Premier League Cup in a close affair at Ashton Gate.

Danny Whitehead and Elliot Lee put the Hammers in the ascendancy, but Wes Burns' 76th-minute penalty gave the Robins hope of a comeback, but despite opportunities to force extra time that fell for Mitch Brundle and Marley Bishop, the London side held firm thanks to two superb saves by 16-year-old goalkeeper Sam Howes. West Ham will now travel to either Cardiff City or Chelsea in the next round.

Bristol City report | West Ham report

Barclays Under-21 Premier League results

29 November
West Ham United (McCallum, Lee) 2-2 Leicester City (Dawson, Pearson)
West Bromwich Albion (Birch) 1-3 Southampton (Gallagher 2, Sinclair)

Barclays Under-21 Premier League results

2 December
Newcastle United (Campbell) 1-1 Chelsea (Boga)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (Bancessi 3) 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Ebanks-Landell og)
Reading (Tanner) 1-1 Norwich City (Morris)
Arsenal (Toral) 1-5 Sunderland (Watmore, Mandron 3, Lynch)
Fulham (Grimmer, Tankovic) 2-1 Everton (Kenny)
Liverpool (Yesil, Ngoo) 2-0 Aston Villa
Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Manchester United (Zaha, Wilson)

Under-21 Premier League Cup result

2 December
Bristol City (Burns) 1-2 West Ham United (Whitehead, Lee)

Find out the full Barclays Under-21 fixture list here and view the table here.
To discover the Under-21 Premier League Cup draw, click here.

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

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