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Tottenham 1-3 Arsenal (FA Youth Cup)

Arsenal progressed to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup where they will face either Manchester City or Norwich City.

Arsenal beat a very good and skillful Tottenham side 3-1 at White Hart Lane. At this level Arsenal have some very good talented young players, one or two of whom will probably get their first team opportunity next season.

Defensively, Arsenal were not strong, neither full-back impressed, too often both Cruise and Eastman dived in, missing the ball and giving their opponents the chance to make either runs at goal or to cross the ball unhindered. Kyle Bartley looks a class above the rest, which explains why Arsenal went to some lengths to secure his services.

In midfield it was a different story, Jack Wilshere has been the talk of the Arsenal Academy all season, but in Emmanuel Frimpong and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Arsenal have two immense talents. Frimpong was strong in midfield, winning tackle after tackle. For me it was the captain that caught the eye, Emmanuel-Thomas (try getting that printed on your shirt next season) was the complete player. He is big, strong, quick, has great skill and ball control and can score goals. Wilshere looks like a player who was feeling the pressure, the hype surrounding him this season led him to believes that he needs to do the special things, when the simple pass is more effective.

Gilles Sunu is a strong lad, he is fast and ran the Spurs defence ragged last night. The next step for Gilles is to spend most of the next two seasons on loan so that his football development can move to the next stage.

Spurs took the lead after some sloppy defending. Arsenal pressed for the rest for the half, but the best chances fell to Tottenham who failed to extend their lead.  Arsenal made Spurs pay for this when Bartley scored a fortuitous goal, one that he knew little about.  Arsenal were pinning Spurs back, the strength and power of Arsenal’s midfield was too much.  Arsenal’s reward arrived with minutes to go.  A great move involving Sanchez Watts and Emmanuel-Thomas, saw the captain skip past his marker on the edge of the box and then he unleashed a ferocious shot past the Tottenham goalkeeper.  Within a minute it was 3-1, as Coquelin played a great ball to Rhys Murphy, a late substitute for Sunu.  Murphy chested the ball down and then buried his shot in the bottom corner.

Some good displays from some promising individuals.