Benik Afobe’s goal in the Arsenal under-21 side’s 3-1 defeat to Middlesbrough was overshadowed as Daniel Crowley, widely rated as the next Jack Wilshere at the club, was stretched off during the second-half.
Crowley made headlines last week when he was involved in every single goal as Arsenal defeated Peterborough 6-1 in the FA Youth Cup. The injury is a huge blow to the youngster and the club, with the knock likely to be assessed later today and over the rest of the week.
#Arsenal are forced to make a change. Crowley leaves the pitch on a stretcher and is replaced by Alex Iwobi 1-3 (60)— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 15, 2014
Arsenal named a strong looking side which included highly rated youngsters Kristoffer Olsson, Isaac Hayden, Thomas Eisfeld, Crowley and Afobe himself leading the attack.
The game started superbly for the young Gunners when Afobe showed great initiative to intercept a pass before taking it round the goalkeeper and slotting into an open goal.
However, Middlesbrough responded well with a brace from Kei Kamara as he continued a comeback from injury and a strike from Faris Haround putting the home team 3-1 up just after the half-time break.
Alex Iwobi, the youngster who replaced Crowley, had some decent half chances as the game approached the last ten minutes, cracking one shot off the woodwork as the Gunners looked to get back into the game.
Iwobi sends in a low effort which forces Leutwiler to push behind and then moments later crashes a shot against the post 1-3 (78)— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 15, 2014
It’s a deficit that Middlesbrough protected well as they moved onto 13 points away from the bottom of the under-21 Premier League table, within two points of Arsenal in 10th.