Arsenal u23s got back to winning ways in the Premier League 2 on Friday, defeating North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 away from home.
The game didn’t get off to a smooth start, as a floodlight malfunction meant kick-off was delayed. Thankfully the problem was resolved within 15 minutes and the football could get underway.
Spurs had the first few chances of the match, and they should’ve had the lead within 10 minutes as Arsenal keeper Karl Hein was forced into making a good save from a one-on-one.
The opening half an hour was fairly quiet in terms of chances after that, with the highlight being a couple of Spurs yellow cards. Zak Swanson also picked one up for Arsenal preventing a counter-attack after a decent Tyreece John-Jules effort.
Those two were involved in Arsenal’s first goal a few minutes later, with a Swanson run down the right leading to a John-Jules shot which was well saved. Fortunately, Robbie Burton was on hand to turn in the rebound for 1-0.
John-Jules went close again with a volley that flew over to end a quick counter a few minutes later, sparked by Konstantinos Mavropanos and Emile Smith Rowe.
Spurs pushed for an equaliser right before half-time with a free-kick, but they were caught out as Reiss Nelson and Smith Rowe carried the ball up the field before the latter set up Trae Coyle for 2-0 at the break.
Nelson came off at half-time, after getting a good 45 minutes under his belt on his return from injury. Hein had a few saves to make early in the second half, but Arsenal looked dangerous on every counter and just lacked the finishing touch on a few moves.
Nathan Tormey came on for Coyle, who had taken his goal nicely but perhaps should have scored one or two more after consistently getting in behind the defence on the left, with Smith Rowe influential in making that happen.
With 15 minutes left, Harvey White made it 2-1, scoring for Spurs after the ball came back off the post.
Arsenal didn’t particularly look like conceding a second though, and Tormey made it 3-1 late on to secure the result. Tolaji Bola had been fouled in the build-up, but John-Jules cleverly played on and took advantage of the Spurs defence hesitating to play in Tormey. The winger saw his left-footed shot saved, but scored the rebound with his weaker right.
Swanson had to go off injured for Joseph Olowu, after having a good game. Hopefully, that’s nothing serious. The game ended 3-1, with Arsenal getting their first win since mid-September, and a good confidence boost with it.
Lineup: Hein, Swanson, Mavropanos, Clarke, Bola, Smith, Burton, Smith Rowe, Coyle, Nelson, John-Jules
Subs: Olowu, Hillson, Cottrell, Medley, Tormey