Spurs’ Under 23 side played their third Premier League 2 match of the new season on Friday at Hotspur Way, as Wayne Burnett’s side lost to 2-1 in the first North London Derby of the season with Arsenal. For the most part it was a very even game, but the sending off of left-back Marcel Lavinier in the second half gave Arsenal a big advantage. Spurs lined up with Joshua Oluwayemi in goal, while a back four consisting of Kallum Cesay, captain Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Tobi Omole and Marcel Lavinier lined up in front of him. Nile John and Harvey White started in central midfield, while Alfie Devine started just in front of them. Dilan Markanday and Jack Clarke started out on the flanks and Dane Scarlett led the line, as he made his first appearance of the season for the Spurs Under 23 side. Arsenal got the game underway on a warm afternoon in Enfield. A fine early pass from Clarke to Markanday on the right flank resulted in the inform Spurs winger having a shot on goal, but his low effort was saved by Karl Hein. A loose pass from Devine at the opposite end of the pitch resulted in Omari Hutchinson receiving the ball. However, after travelling forward with it he had an effort well blocked by Lyons-Foster inside the Spurs box. A good lofted pass from Harvey White towards Alfie Devine in the Arsenal box was well cut out by Arsenal first team player Gabriel at the vital moment. Arsenal centre-forward Mika Biereth then hit a low effort just wide of Oluwayemi’s goal from the edge of the Spurs box.
The game continued to be an even one and Mazeed Ogungbo saw his cross from the left volleyed over at the back post by Taylor-Hart, before Swanson had an effort on goal brilliantly blocked by former Arsenal player Tobi Omole. A really fine pass from the Spurs captain Lyons-Foster managed to find Markanday down the right flank. He skilfully worked his way past Mazeed Ogungbo before finding John, whose shot was blocked with the ball coming out to Harvey White, who also had an effort blocked. The ball then came to Lavinier, who had an effort saved by Hein. Clarke had an effort blocked by Zane Monlouis, before Marcel Lavinier hit an effort well wide of the Arsenal goal. After receiving Lavinier’s pass Jack Clarke dribbled his way into the Arsenal penalty area, before having a deflected effort saved by Hein. Lavinier hit an effort wide a couple of moments later, and then shortly after that he received a yellow card after making a strong challenge on Biereth. A Harvey White free-kick ended up deflecting into the path of Lyons-Foster in the middle of the Arsenal box, but he had little time to react, and the ball ended up coming off his right foot and going wide of the goal. He then received a yellow card shortly afterwards before Markanday hit the ball right across the face of Karl Hein’s goal. Tobi Omole then blocked behind Mika Biereth’s effort from the edge of the Spurs box.
Lavinier had an effort blocked before Mika Biereth missed a free header inside the centre of the Spurs box. Kallum Cesay then blocked Taylor-Hart’s effort after a very good move from Arsenal. Spurs got the second half underway and after an early yellow card was shown to Nile John, Spurs took the lead. Harvey White’s fine delivery from a corner kick was met by Alfie Devine at Arsenal’s near post, and he flicked the ball past Hein on the volley to give Spurs the lead, 1-0. Oluwayemi saved Mazeed Ogungbo’s effort from down the left of the Spurs box, before Hein tipped behind Clarke’s low effort at the other end of the pitch. Oluwayemi then saved Omari Hutchinson’s effort at his near post, before Arsenal got the equaliser. A forward move ended with Hutchinson squaring the ball for Taylor-Hart inside the Spurs box, and he finished past Oluwayemi and into the left corner of the Spurs goal, 1-1. After Lavinier had fouled Hutchison and also handled the ball, the referee showed him his second yellow card and sent him off, in what would prove to be a turning point in the game. Jack Clarke then received a yellow card before Charlie Patino’s low effort on goal was saved by the feet of Oluwayemi. A good forward run from Jack Clarke resulted in him finding Dane Scarlett down the right side of the Arsenal box, but the centre-forward hit his effort into the side-netting of the goal. Zac Swanson’s low cross was hit over by Mazeed Ogungbo inside the Spurs box, but only because Kallum Cesay managed to get a foot on the ball in time.
Oluwayemi saved Omar Rekik’s header from an Arsenal corner kick, and then Spurs made their first change of the game as Maksim Paskotši replaced Dilan Markanday, and went to right-back. Zac Swanson curled an effort just wide of the Spurs goal from inside the Spurs box before Arsenal then took the lead. Hutchinson’s cross in from the right flank was missed by Mika Biereth inside the Spurs box, before the ball then came to Taylor-Hart, who finished emphatically past Oluwayemi, 1-2. The impressive Omari Hutchinson then hit a free-kick effort onto the Spurs post, before at the other end of the pitch Lyons-Foster skilfully worked his way into the Arsenal box before then seeing his effort on goal saved by Hein. J’Neil Bennett replaced Dane Scarlett, Kallum Cesay then blocked Hutchinson’s effort on goal, before Oluwayemi saved Joel Ideho’s effort. Matthew Craig replaced Brooklyn Lyons-Foster for the final moments of the game, but the newly introduced J’Neil Bennett managed two goal attempts. The first one from distance went well over the Arsenal goal, before the second one was well saved by Karl Hein. The final score – Spurs 1-2 Arsenal.
- Joshua Oluwayemi: The Spurs goalkeeper made a number of good and important saves during the game in what was a good performance from him.
- Kallum Cesay: I thought that Kallum had a good game at both ends of the pitch and he prevented a certain Arsenal goal during the second half.
- Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: My man of the match, see below.
- Tobi Omole: Playing as the left sided centre-half, Tobi Omole made a number of good blocks against his former team.
- Marcel Lavinier: Going on some good forward runs down the left-flank during his time on the pitch, unfortunately the full-back was sent off during the second half.
- Nile John: Playing as the deepest midfielder Nile John brought the ball forward well, and he went on some good surging forward runs.
- Harvey White: One of Spurs’ best performers on the day, midfielder Harvey White created our only goal of the game from a corner kick, made some good forward passes and covered a lot of ground in the central areas of the pitch. I thought that he was especially very good during the first half.
- Dilan Markanday: Playing out on the right flank Dilan Markanday was always looking to take on Arsenal full-back Mazeed Ogungbo. Dilan had to defend a lot more after Spurs were reduced to ten men during the second half.
- Alfie Devine: The furthest forward of the three midfielders took his goal well and was always looking to pass the ball forward.
- Jack Clarke: I was impressed with how the former Leeds United player was always looking to take on players and try to be inventive with the ball at his feet. I thought that he played well against Arsenal.
- Dane Scarlett: The centre-forward led the line well, moved well off the ball and worked very hard inside the Arsenal half. He came close to scoring during the second half.
- Maksim Paskotši: The Estonia international slotted into the defence after he came on when Spurs only had ten men on the pitch.
- J’Neil Bennett: The late substitute managed two goal attempts during his time on the pitch.
- Matthew Craig: N/A.
My man of the match: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. The Spurs captain and centre-half saw a lot of the ball inside Spurs’ half of the pitch, and once again his distribution was very good. However, defensively speaking I thought that this was another strong performance from Brooklyn, whose positioning, communication skills and effort in defence could not be criticised. Lyons-Foster also stepped out of defence well on occasions, but at the back he made some important defensive interventions and blocks, and dealt well with Arsenal centre-forward Mika Biereth.