Arsenal’s u21s continued their perfect start to the league campaign, making it five consecutive wins – having come from behind to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers away from home.
Having conceded early on courtesy of a close-range effort from Eusebio Bancessi, goals from Chris Willock, Stephy Mavididi and Alex Iwobi ensured the Gunners had a two-goal cushion with ten minutes left to play.
Naturally, the Arsenal way, Jordan Graham ensured they had to battle hard to secure all three points with a late effort of his own to halve the deficit, but it was only a consolation in the end as Steve Gatting’s youngsters remained at the top of the table going into the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.
Ahead of the evening’s clash, Gatting made two alterations to the starting XI from their victory away against Newcastle last time out. With the news that Jeff-Reine Adelaide has been sidelined and will be out of action for two months, he was replaced by Chris Willock in the attacking trio behind Mavididi as the lone striker.
The other change, was in-between the posts. Matt Macey was preferred to Ryan Huddart in goal whilst the likes of Stefan O’Connor and Ismael Bennacer were not involved in the matchday squad.
Bancessi’s opening strike set the pace for the Wolves, but an important save by Macey ensured the momentum shifted toward the visitors – after some impressive work down the flank by Tommy Rowe.
Willock equalised within minutes of the opener with a well-taken finish, having burst forward down the flank and cutting inside before striking goalwards.
It capped off a morale-boosting week for Chris personally, having scored a goal and created an assist during Arsenal’s 2-0 away win in Zagreb as the UEFA Youth League group stages got underway last week.
Mavididi got himself on the scoresheet before the half-time interval, continuing his goal-scoring form he has been in recently, with a curling effort beyond goalkeeper Jon Flatt.
Bancessi could have completed his brace on the stroke of the interval, but from an unlikely source, he was denied. Kaylen Hinds, known more for his qualities going forward, made a fantastic overhead clearance to deny the 20-year-old wide man.
Iwobi and Ben Sheaf both came close to making it 3-1 in the second-half, but were unfortunately unable to find the net with their respective attempts on goal.
Arsenal found themselves firmly in the ascendancy and knew they needed to take a chance to kill off the game, which eventually came, courtesy of Iwobi.
On the week where the exciting teenager has been officially called up to the Nigerian first-team squad for their international fixtures next month, the 19-year-old pounced on some sloppy defending to make the hosts pay as the clock ticked towards the 90th minute mark.
There was still time though, for some late drama. Jordan Graham, formerly of Aston Villa, made it 3-2 shortly after Alex doubled Arsenal’s lead.
This prompted the inclusion of Savvas Mourgos, for his u21 debut at the club in an attempt to stabilise the midfield and keep possession of the ball. Despite a wave of pressure from Wolves, the visitors held firm to secure all three points.
Next up, the youngsters entertain Greek opposition in the form of Olympiakos in the UEFA Youth League next Tuesday.