Arsenal U18s player ratings vs West Ham: Reuell Walters impresses but Ethan Nwaneri misfires as Gunners suffer Youth Cup heartbreak

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Arsenal FA Youth Cup 2023
The young Gunners suffered a heavy defeat at Emirates Stadium as West Ham won the FA Youth Cup for the first time since 1999

Arsenal suffered FA Youth Cup final heartache on Tuesday night as they saw an early lead slip away during a 5-1 defeat by West Ham at Emirates Stadium.

Jack Wilshere's Under-18s side started in fine fashion in front of a crowd of 34,127 and went in front when Omari Benjamin was on hand to finish smartly after Amario Cozier-Duberry's shot had been saved.

But West Ham bounced back in impressive fashion and took control of the game with two goals in as many minutes, with George Earthy levelling things up before Callum Marshall struck from close range.

A stunning 35-yard chip from Gideon Kodua extended the visitors' advantage just before half-time, much to the delight of the 7,000 strong travelling support that was packed into the lower tier of the Clock End.

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Arsenal improved after the interval, with half-time substitute Osman Kamara making a difference. But the hosts missed some good chances and West Ham took advantage when Kaelan Casey and Josh Briggs both scored from late corners to wrap things up.

GOAL rates Arsenal's players from Emirates Stadium...

  1. Goalkeeper & Defence
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    Goalkeeper & Defence

    Noah Cooper (6/10):

    Excellent save to deny Earthy early in the second half. Couldn't do anything with any of the goals.

    Michal Rosiak (6/10):

    Always looked a threat with his delivery into the box.

    Josh Robinson (5/10):

    Punished for an awful error to gift West Ham their third goal. Had played well up to then.

    Reuell Walters (7/10):

    Brilliant run which led to the opening goal. One of the game's stand out players despite Arsenal conceding five.

    Lino Sousa (5/10):

    Couldn't get forward as much as he would have liked.

  2. Midfield
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    Bradley Ibrahim (7/10):

    Really calm, good on the ball. Tired as the game wore on.

    Myles Lewis-Skelly (6/10):

    Composed when in possession, but couldn't get on the ball enough.

    Jimi Gower (4/10):

    Had a few good touches, but struggled to influence things from a creative point of view. Replaced at half-time.

  3. Attack
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    Amario Cozier-Duberry (7/10):

    Set up the goal with his shot. Looked a threat whenever he was on the ball.

    Ethan Nwaneri (4/10):

    Not the final he would have wanted. Nothing really came off for him. Finishing was wayward.

    Omari Benjamin (6/10):

    Great finish to open the scoring.

  4. Subs & Manager
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    Subs & Manager

    Osman Kamara (6/10):

    Came on at half-time and helped Arsenal to much improved performance after the break. Was lively down the left.

    Sebastian Ferdinand (N/A):

    Only on for a few minutes.

    Jack Wilshere (5/10):

    The change of formation certainly led to an improved performance, but he will be disappointed with his side's first half display.