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It was just a second defeat in nine games for the under-23s when we went down to a 2-1 defeat against Stoke at a bitterly cold Leyland last Monday and it meant a drop of one place in Premier League 2 Division 2 to eighth.

We’d gone down that one place last Friday when Fulham picked up a point from a 0-0 draw at Norwich but any positive result against Stoke, who are now riding him in second place, would have seen us go back above the West London club. A win would have seen us up in fifth place and behind Aston Villa on goal difference.

In this tightest of leagues, there is no stopping Leeds. They won 4-2 at Middlesbrough to retain their ten point lead at the top although Reading, currently in third place, who have 12 points less do have two games in hand.

If there is not much chance of a change of leadership in Division 2 any time soon, that’s not the case in Division 1 where last week’s leaders Blackburn have now dropped to third, behind both Manchester City and Tottenham on goal difference.

That didn’t look likely when they led 4-2 against Manchester United last Friday with just 17 minutes remaining. Twelve minutes later and United’s expensive team had  scored four more times to win the game 6-4. Manchester City had won on the same day and Spurs drew at Southampton on the Sunday and they now have those top two places.

We are underway again tomorrow with three matches in each division followed by three more for each on Monday. We follow the first team this weekend with an away game at Crystal Palace who currently have two points more than us.

The player featured this week is German goalkeeper Marc Richter. He will get more games now with Lukas Jensen out on loan at Bolton and he’s come in for some high praise recently from coach Steve Stone.

The League Tables  and our Fixtures and Results are both within U23/U18 Stats which can be found on the top menu.

All of last week’s results, this week’s fixtures, the leading goalscorers, our goalscorers and the current league tables are all below.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Division 1

Friday 5th February
Arsenal 2 Chelsea 2
Brighton 6 West Ham 1
Manchester City 3 Everton 1
Manchester United 6 Blackburn 4

Sunday 7th February
Southampton 1 Tottenham 1

Monday 8th February
Leicester 1 Derby 2

Division 2

Friday 5th February
Aston Villa 4 Crystal Palace 4
Norwich 0 Fulham 0
Reading 5 West Brom 2

Sunday 7th February
Middlesbrough 2 Leeds 4

Monday 8th February
Burnley 1 Stoke 2
Sunderland v Newcastle – match postponed

THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES

Division 1

Friday 12th February
Liverpool v Brighton
Manchester United v Arsenal
Tottenham v Everton

Monday 15th February
Blackburn v Southampton
Derby v Chelsea
Leicester v Manchester City

Division 2

Friday 12th February
Aston Villa v Wolves
Fulham v Newcastle
Middlesbrough v Sunderland

Monday 15th February
Crystal Palace v Burnley
Leeds v Reading
Stoke v Norwich

LEADING GOALSCORERS

Division 1

9: Liam Delap (Manchester City), Joe Hugill (Manchester United)
8: Connor McBride (Blackburn), Ellis Simms (Everton), Jack Stretton (Derby)
7: Folarin Balogun (Arsenal)
6; Anthony Elanga (Manchester United), Brad Lyons (Blackburn), James Mcatee (Manchester City), Myles Peart-Harris (Chelsea), Arnau Puigmal (Manchester United)

Division 2

10: Louie Barry (Aston Villa)
8: Fabio Carvalho (Fulham), Jean-Pierre Tiehi (Fulham)
7: Mitch Curry (Sunderland), Joe Gelhardt (Leeds), Sam Greenwood (Leeds)
6: Cheikh Diaby (West Brom), Taylor Perry (Wolves), Max Thompson (Burnley)

BURNLEY’S GOALSCORERS

6: Max Thompson
4: Joel Mumbongo
3: Lewis Richardson
2: Ashley Barnes
1: Owen Dodgson, Anthony Gomez Mancini, own goals

CURRENT LEAGUE TABLES

Team pld w d l f a pts
Manchester City 13 7 4 2 37 21 25
Tottenham 15 7 4 4 29 25 25
Blackburn 14 7 4 3 29 26 25
Chelsea 12 7 2 3 27 18 23
Everton 15 6 4 5 25 18 22
Manchester United 14 6 3 5 39 39 21
Derby 14 6 2 6 26 33 20
Arsenal 14 5 4 5 27 21 19
Brighton 15 5 4 6 24 32 19
Liverpool 13 5 2 6 25 29 17
Leicester 15 5 0 10 26 35 15
Southampton 13 3 3 7 20 25 12
West Ham 13 2 2 9 17 29 8
Team pld w d l f a pts
Leeds 15 11 1 3 40 22 34
Stoke 15 8 0 7 25 21 24
Reading 13 7 1 5 25 31 22
Aston Villa 15 6 3 6 28 27 21
Crystal Palace 14 6 2 6 32 28 20
Wolves 13 6 2 5 25 21 20
Fulham 15 6 1 8 27 34 19
Burnley 14 5 3 6 18 22 18
Middlesbrough 13 5 2 6 26 19 17
Norwich 14 5 2 7 17 21 17
Sunderland 11 5 0 6 23 26 15
West Brom 12 4 2 6 22 25 14
Newcastle 12 4 1 7 16 27 13
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