Wednesday 31 October 2012

Barclays U21s: Norwich back to winning ways

The Hawthorns witnesses six-goal thriller; wins for Norwich, Fulham and Aston Villa

  • Josh Murphy in action during Norwich's 2-1 win against Bolton at Colney Training Centre

  • Blackburn 's John O'Sullivan tries to weave a way through Arsenal's midfield

Norwich City moved up three places in Barclays Under-21 Premier League Group 1 after coming from behind to beat Bolton Wanderers and leapfrog West Bromwich Albion and Reading, who shared a thrilling 3-3 draw at The Hawthorns.

Norwich City 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

Norwich City moved to within four points of second-placed Arsenal despite going a goal and a man down against Bolton Wanderers, who took the lead through Adam Blakeman four minutes into the second half.

Ramil Sheriff's header levelled the match and although the goalscorer was then dismissed for a foul on Chris Lester, the hosts snatched victory when Cameron King volleyed in Jacob Murphy's corner three minutes from time.

Full Norwich City match report.

Full Bolton Wanderers match report

Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Arsenal

Arsenal stretched their unbeaten run to three games, but were unable to overcome Blackburn Rovers after earning a hard-fought draw on Monday night.

After having the better of the first half, Terry Burton’s side had goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook to thank for a wonder save that guaranteed them a point.

"It was a good 0-0," Burton told the Arsenal website. "We started very brightly and had three or four decent opportunities to score. We dug in as the game went on. A draw was probably a fair result."

Read full Arsenal match report.

Read full Blackburn match report.

West Bromwich Albion 3-3 Reading

If there were no goals at Leigh Village, there were six at The Hawthorns, where West Brom shared a six-goal draw with Reading.

The hosts featured four senior players returning from injury in the form of Chris Brunt (hamstring), Billy JonesJerome Thomas (both knee) and Boaz Myhill (thumb) and they made a fine start to the match in which Adil Nabi gave them the lead.

After Dominic Samuels levelled the scores on 35 minutes, Albion earned a two-goal cushion with strikes by Romaine Sawyers and Kemar Roofe, but the hosts were caught by two goals in as many minutes as Charlie Losasso curled home a 79th-minute free-kick and Samuels completed his brace.

Read full West Brom match report.

Read full Reading match report.

Stoke City 2-3 Aston Villa

Aston Villa completed the double over Stoke City in front of respective first-team managers Paul Lambert and Tony Pulis and a sizeable crowd who were granted free access at Nantwich FC.

After falling behind to James Alabi's opener, Villa hit back through Michael Drennan's quickfire double shortly after half-time. Andreas Stieber extended the lead for Gordon Cowans's side late on before Ben Heneghan reduced the arrears for the Potters, who remain at the foot of the group, in added time.

Read Stoke City's full match report.

Read Aston Villa's full match report.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Fulham

Alex Smith's late winner took Fulham from sixth place in Group 3 to third as they completed a 2-1 away victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The hosts had not been beaten all season and looked on course to maintain that run after cancelling out Dino Islamovic's opening goal with a Bjorn Sigurdarson header.

But Cottagers' captain Alex Smith popped up in the area to drive Lasse Vigen Christensen's centre past Wayne Hennessey and seal his side's first away triumph of the campaign.

Read Wolverhampton Wanderers' full match report.

Read Fulham’s full match report.

For all Barclays U21 Premier League news, results and tables click here

Monday 29 October results

GROUP 1
Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Arsenal
Norwich City 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
West Bromwich Albion 3-3 Reading

GROUP 2
Stoke City 2-3 Aston Villa

GROUP 3
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Fulham

Friday 26 & Saturday 27 October results (reports)

GROUP 1
West Ham United 1-0 Everton

GROUP 2
Tottenham 4-2 Manchester United

GROUP 3
Middlesbrough 2-2 Manchester City

For all the fixtures and the latest league tables, click here

You can follow developments on Twitter with the Premier League's account @premierleague or via the hashtag #BU21PL

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Key Points

  • The Hawthorns played host to a six-goal thriller between West Brom and Reading
  • Arsenal drew at Blackburn, while Norwich beat Bolton Wanderers
  • Aston Villa completed the double over Stoke while Fulham snatched a late win at Wolves