Eddie Nketiah hailed the u23s’ character after they came from 2-1 behind to draw 2-2 with Chelsea’s u23s on Saturday.
‘Character’ is the latest Arsenal buzzword doing the rounds and it seems it’s even spread to the reserves as Eddie claimed the Young Guns showed plenty of it at the weekend.
“Both teams had chances so a draw was a good result,” the 18-year-old told Arsenal Player. “Coming back from 2-1 down, we showed great character to get back into the game and we were unlucky.
“We had a chance at the end and maybe one more pass and we would have got the goal – but that happens in football.
“We didn’t want to lose and we [achieved] that. Hopefully now we can push on and get the three points next week.”
Martell Taylor-Crossdale put Chelsea ahead in the 13th minute on Saturday afternoon before Arsenal drew level through Vlad Dragomir four minutes later.
Vlad Dragomir having a superb game for Arsenal U23s again. A goal and assist against Chelsea to help the Gunners draw 2-2. pic.twitter.com/0RSA2cu01n
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) October 28, 2017
Dujon Sterling, however, put the Blues 2-1 ahead in the 65th and it looked as if the Young Guns were set to leave empty-handed.
Fortunately, Arsenal have ‘character’. They kept battling until 18-year-old Joe Willock, who’s made four appearances for the first team this season, brought the score level with less than a minute of regular time left on the clock.
Just like the senior team, Arsenal’s u23s are down in fifth in the Premier League 2 Division One table. A win against Chelsea would have propelled them up to third, level on points (19) with Everton in second. Therefore, while Eddie is right to applaud his team for fighting back from 2-1 down, not getting those much-needed three points must be gutting.
The u23s’ next match isn’t until 20 November when they face Swansea away. Hopefully, this gives the lads a chance to regroup, take some time away with their national teams and return in good spirits.