Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi scored twice in the space of five minutes as Arsenal u19s won a third consecutive UEFA Youth League game.
Following wins against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos, Tuesday’s victory leaves Arsenal on the brink of the knockout round of the competition.
Arsenal were without Chris Willock, Kaylen Hinds, Stephy Mavididi and Jeff Reine-Adelaide at Boreham Wood, as the teenagers are representing England and France at the u17 World Cup.
Throughout the opening half an hour, Arsenal were the better side. Ismael Bennacer, making his Arsenal debut, impressed in an attacking midfield role and linked up brilliantly with 15-year-old Reiss Nelson on the left wing. Despite his age, Nelson didn’t look out of place and was one of the brightest players all afternoon. Ben Sheaf troubled Bayern goalkeeper David Hundertmark with a rasping free-kick from a tight angle, but Arsenal rarely gave him a save to make.
Possession was not made into chances, and Bayern gave as good as they got in front of goal, forcing Hugo Keto into saves from Yousef Emghames and Fabian Benko.
The second half continued much in the same way, with Arsenal keeping the ball well but failing to break Bayern down. The best chance probably fell to Krystian Bielik, who missed a free header from six yards as Ben Sheaf delivered another excellent corner.
That was until Alex Iwobi struck with a moment of magic 17 minutes from the end of play. An incredibly powerful strike gave Arsenal the goal that their play had merited.
Iwobi, a senior player in this squad, was quiet for most of the afternoon, but stood up when it counted to give Arsenal the lead.
— Dili (@Dili105) October 20, 2015
It only took the Nigerian international five minutes to add a second goal. Donyell Malen, signed from Ajax this summer, wasn’t heavily involved in the game but showed why Arsenal signed him to lay Iwobi’s second chance on a plate. Up against a number of defenders on the left wing, Malen moved the ball quickly before squaring for Iwobi. A second goal for the winger, and for Arsenal, all but wrapped things up.
The visitors rallied towards the end of the game, but it was a case of too little too late. Domestically, Arsenal u21s are unbeaten so far this season but could have some injury concerns ahead of Friday’s game against West Brom. The impressive centre-back duo of Krystian Bielik and Julio Pleguezuelo both picked up knocks towards the end of the game, with the Pole subbed off for Stefan O’Connor. After three group games, Arsenal sit top of the group with nine points. Bayern have lost all three games so far, and Olympiacos lead Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 after 56 minutes (at the time of publishing, with both teams on three points heading into the match.