Report | Arsenal Under-21s 2 Swansea City Under-21s 1

17th August 2022
Kai Ludvigsen
Credit - Stuart MacFarlane - Getty Images/Arsenal

Swansea City Under-21s were narrowly beaten by Arsenal Under-21s in the first round of their Premier League Cup campaign at Meadow Park. 

Josh Thomas got the game off to a perfect start for the visitors as he took the ball past James Hillson and rolled it into the net.

Arsenal responded through Joel Ideho, then took the lead thanks to Cedric Soares, who fired the ball into the back of the net from a set-piece. 

The Swans also ended the contest a man down after Joe Thomas received a red card, but there were plenty of positives to take against category one Premier League 2 opposition.

The Gunners, however, got off to a quick start from the first whistle.

Nathan Butler-Oyedeji caused danger in the box as he beat Kai Ludvigsen to take two shots on goal. However, Swansea goalkeeper Archie Matthews was equal to them.

Just minutes later, Matthews produced another fine save as he used his feet to block a powerful shot from Butler-Oyedeji.

Swansea responded well after a spell of possession as Josh Thomas saw his chance and whipped the ball past Hillson and into the empty net, giving the Swans the early advantage.

Joel Cotterill
Credit - Stuart MacFarlane - Getty Images/Arsenal

The Gunners responded by enjoying a spell of sustained pressure.

Fabio Vieira sent his effort wide of the target, however Ideho then picked up a pass from Lino Sousa to cut inside and fire the ball into the net to level the scoreline. 

And the Gunners soon took the lead from a free-kick from 30-yards out. Captain and Portugal international Soares stepped up and fired an absolute rocket of a strike past the wall and Matthews.

The Swans needed a response but instead ended the half a goal and a player down following Joe Thomas’ dismissal.

It should have been a third for the home side as they took advantage of their extra man; Vieira headed the ball towards the empty net but Dan Williams was there to clear.

Following the restart, the Gunners had their fair share of chances through Butler-Oyedeji and Mauro Bandiera, but both of their low driven shots went wide. 

There was a further blow for the visitors when Ludvigsen was forced off with an injury. Seb Dabrowski came on to replace him. 

Between the sticks, Matthews was putting in a fine performance as the youngster was forced to make a string of vital saves to keep the Swans in the game.

The trio of Dabrowski, Filip Lissah and Williams worked well on the edge of the box to steer away further danger from Arden’s substitute Bandiera, as the battling Swans came up just short against top-level opposition. 

Jon Grey and Anthony Wright's side are back in action on Monday (2pm) against Crewe Alexandra in the Professional Development League.

Arsenal Under-21s: James Hillson, Cedric Soares (c), Lino Sousa (Henry Jeffcott), Taylor Foran, Zack Awe, Miguel Azeez (Tim Akinola), Fabio Vieira (Catalin Cirjan), Amario Cozier-Duberry, Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, Emile Smith-Rowe (Mauro Bandiera), Joel Ideho.

Swansea City Under-21s: Archie Matthews, Kai Ludvigsen (Seb Dabrowski), Filip Lissah, Dan Williams, Ben Blythe, Joe Thomas, Joel Cotterill (Tarelle Whittaker), Sam Leverett (c), Josh Thomas (Ruben Davies) Ben Lloyd, Nathanael Ogbeta.

Picture credit: Stuart MacFarlane - Getty Images/Arsenal.