Donyell Malen scored and created an assist as Arsenal u18s secured an impressive 3-0 away victory over Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.
The talented Dutchman has struggled for goalscoring form this term despite individual flashes of brilliance, but was excellent at Belvoir Drive as the Young Guns cruised to victory.
After a disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Brighton this time last weekend, manager Kwame Ampadu opted for a few alterations to his starting eleven. Tolaji Bola, Marcus McGuane and Emile Smith-Rowe all returned to start and their presence was definitely an effective one on the affair itself.
Smith-Rowe broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark before Malen doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 42nd minute after an incisive pass into his path by Yassin Fortune.
Leicester came out for the second 45 eager to make amends for a sloppy defensive showing in the latter stages of the first-half and despite two substitutions, they were consigned to defeat as the minutes ticked by. Malen turned creator when he teed up fullback Jordi Osei-Tutu for his second goal of the campaign with just two minutes plus stoppages to play.
It was a fixture filled with positives from Arsenal’s perspective, especially as they kept their sixth clean sheet of the campaign. Charlie Gilmour’s gradual return to 100% match sharpness is going well, as the central midfielder played 90 minutes before being substituted in stoppage time with Toby Omole his replacement. The other second-half alterations saw attacking duo Nathan Tella and Joe Willock afforded minutes.
Arsenal’s team against Leicester: Crean; Osei-Tutu, Ballard, Olowu, T.Bola; McGuane (J. Willock 71′), Gilmour (Omole 90′); Smith-Rowe, Fortune (Tella, 64′), Coyle; Malen. Unused: Barden (GK).
The result sees them overtake north London rivals Tottenham into fourth place with 26 points in the u18 Premier League South Section. 11 points behind current leaders Chelsea, Ampadu’s side have now registered their 7th victory of the campaign with 15 matches played. They have a game in hand over West Ham (30), and have also played two less than both Reading (35) and the Blues.