Bukayo Saka scored a brace as Arsenal won 5-2 against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Youth Cup, with his second goal the pick of the lot.
Arsenal faced their North London rivals in the Youth Cup fourth round on Thursday, and had to come from behind twice to win. After conceding early in the first half, Ben Cottrell brought the Gunners level, but Spurs added another before the break to make it 2-1 at half-time.
Arsenal could’ve felt hard done by after a clear penalty for a foul on Folarin Balogun was waved away, but in the second half they got the spot-kick they deserved after Xavier Amaechi was fouled. Bukayo Saka scored it via the post.
The match went to extra time, but there was only one winner in the additional 30 minutes. First Balogun raced clear of the defence to square for Amaechi for 3-2, then the striker scored one of his own after Amaechi’s shot rebounded to him.
The young gunners saved the best for last, with Saka firing into the top corner after good work down the left by Joel Lopez.
The 17-year-old winger had been getting some stick off the Tottenham fans throughout the night, so he celebrated his goal right in front of them by cupping his ear and gesturing for them to make some noise:
It was yet another example of the talents of the Arsenal academy trio up front. Balogun’s goal and assist brings him to 13 goals and two assists in 12 u18 appearances, a record that proves he’s ready for the step up to the u23s whenever Arsenal can offer him it.
Meanwhile, Saka now has nine goals and eight assists in 14 academy starts, and Amaechi has three goals and two penalties won in his three matches since returning from injury. Those two look ready to compete for spots in the first-team squad.
For the u18s, it’s onto the next round of the cup. Chelsea, who have won the competition on the last five occasions, crashed out to Manchester United in the last round. As a result, the players must be thinking that this could be their chance to win it. Let’s hope so.