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Friday 29 November 2013

Under-21 Cup: London derby pick of the draw

Fulham drawn to face Arsenal in last 16 of Under-21 Premier League Cup

Richard Scudamore made the draw for the last 16 of the inaugural competition

Exeter City have been rewarded for their shock victory over Southampton in the previous round of the Under-21 Premier League Cup with another home tie, this time against Blackburn Rovers in the round of 16.

The draw was made by Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore, who also picked a plum London derby between two of the high-flying Barclays Under-21 Premier League sides, Fulham and Arsenal.

Burnley's reward for shocking Sunderland will be hosting Lancashire rivals Bolton Wanderers, while another eye-catching tie pits Manchester City against West Bromwich Albion.

All ties are scheduled to be played in the week beginning 16 December 2013.

Under-21 Premier League Cup - Round of 16

Cardiff City or Chelsea v West Ham United
Exeter City v Blackburn Rovers
Newcastle United v Leicester City
Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Reading v Watford
Burnley v Bolton Wanderers
Fulham v Arsenal
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion

Round of 32 ties

6 December
Cardiff City v Chelsea

Four Under-21 Premier League Cup round of 32 ties took place this week, with Watford, Fulham, Burnley and Reading all making it through.

Swansea 0-0 Watford (Watford win 4-3 on penalties)

Watford goalkeeper Dan Wilks produced a stunning performance, which included two penalty saves, to help his side see off Swansea City.

The hosts had the better of the opportunities, with Rory Donnelly having a few chances, but could not break the deadlock while James Loveridge's 65th-minute penalty was saved by Wilks.

The contest was still goalless after extra-time and, although Watford missed their opening spot-kick, another Wilks save to deny Loveridge helped put the Hornets through.

"It's great to have saved the penalties, but they were just a small part of what was a great team performance," Wilks told the club website. “We're all looking forward to the next round now, we're all very happy and it's good for our morale.

"Everyone put a shift in today - the pros who played with us, the subs who come on. We didn't stop running and it was a great team effort from front to back."

Swansea City report | Watford report

Aston Villa 0-3 Fulham

Fulham reached the next round with the help of two late goals from Moussa Dembele at Villa Park.

The evenly matched contest looked as if it was heading into extra-time but Fulham made the breakthrough with 10 minutes to go when Dembele finished from 18 yards after controlling Ronny Minkwitz's diagonal pass.

Dembele got in behind the Villa backline to add the second on 88 minutes while Freddy Plumain got the third from close range in stoppage time.

Aston Villa report | Fulham report

Burnley 2-1 Sunderland

Burnley claimed a dramatic upset against Sunderland at Turf Moor courtesy of a last-minute winner from Luke Conlan.

Craig Lynch missed an opportunity to put the visitors, who are third in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League, ahead after only 55 seconds but made amends nine minutes later when he intercepted Conlan's back-pass before slotting home.

Burnley pressed for an equaliser and it came on 66 minutes, Luke Gallagher firing in an unstoppable drive into the top corner.

And the winner came in the closing stages when Conlan thumped home from close range after Kevin Long's header came back off the crossbar.

Burnley report | Sunderland report

Reading 3-1 Queens Park Rangers

Reading reached the last 16 with a straightforward victory at the Madejski Stadium.

The Royals took the lead in the 12th minute when Dominic Samuel curled a shot home before they doubled their advantage six minutes before the break, Craig Tanner shooting past the defenders on the line from Jake Taylor's lay-off.

Tanner added the third in the second half with another fine curling effort while Mo Shariff scored a late consolation for Rangers.

Reading report | Queens Park Rangers report

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

Under-21 Premier League Cup results

26 November
Swansea City 0-0 Watford (Watford won 4-3 on penalties)
Aston Villa 0-3 Fulham (Dembele 2, Plumain)
Burnley (Gallagher, Conlan) 2-1 Sunderland (Lynch)
Reading (Samuel, Tanner 2) 3-1 Queens Park Rangers (Shariff)
Birmingham City 2-1 Newcastle United*
(*Birmingham opted to withdraw from this season's U21 Premier League Cup after inadvertently fielding an ineligible player in their round-of-32 tie with Newcastle.)

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

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

  • Watford's Josh Doherty in action against Swansea City. Courtesy: Alan Cozzi/Watford FC

  • Ryan Hope leads the Watford celebrations after the penalty shoot-out victory

  • Reading celebrate Craig Tanner's goal. Courtesy: Jason Dawson

  • Luke Conlan scored a last-minute winner for Burnley. Courtesy: Andy Ford/Burnley FC

  • Fulham were too strong for Aston Villa at Villa Park. Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC

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Key Points

  • Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore makes draw for last 16 of Under-21 Premier League Cup
  • Exeter City, who beat Southampton, to face Blackburn
  • A London derby between Fulham and Arsenal another choice tie