By Rob Kelly at London Colney
Arsenal Reserves put in another exciting display to dispatch Wolves 3-0 at London Colney on Tuesday afternoon.
Neil Banfield’s side were in charge for much of a keenly-contested affair and took the lead in the eighth minute through Nico Yennaris.
The excellent Oguzhan Ozyakup doubled the second string’s advantage midway through the second half before Philip Roberts sealed victory late on with a fine header.
Banfield fielded much the same side that swept past Swansea in such style at the start of the month, although Ignasi Miquel came in for Elton Monteiro and Sebastien Squillaci replaced Thomas Eisfeld.
Wolves, meanwhile, fielded a strong team with the likes of Ronald Zubar, Richard Stearman, Jody Craddock and Karl Henry all starting at London Colney.
Arsenal came flying out of the blocks, seemingly determined to pick up where they left off at Parc y Scarlets as they pressed the visitors back into their own half.
With just three minutes gone they had their first sight of goal as Serge Gnabry cut in from the left, beat his marker and laid the ball off to Ozyakup. The midfielder struck a firm shot at goal, but Craddock threw himself in the way to get the block in.
Moments later Ozyakup had another chance to open the scoring as he let fly with a 25-yard free kick that was dipping under the bar, only for Dorus De Vries to palm over.
The hosts’ near constant early pressure was finally rewarded in the eighth minute as Martin Angha played a delightful through ball from right back to release Zak Ansah.
The Gunners striker – who scored his first goal for the reserves at Swansea – was clean through but, rather than shoot himself, he drew the goalkeeper and unselfishly laid the ball off to Yennaris to slot home.
Despite the relative experience of their side, Wolves offered little attacking threat as the neat and tidy Arsenal second string dealt comfortably with any rare attacks from their opponents.
But while Banfield’s side were clearly in charge of the match, they struggled to fashion any more clear-cut opportunities in the first half as Wolves grew in confidence.
In fact, the closest the game came to a second goal in this opening period came after 25 minutes when Ethan Ebanks-Landell nearly poked into the far corner for the Black Country club.
Arsenal started the second half as brightly as the first and Gnabry went close with a curling effort in the early stages.
Banfield’s side continued to press and probe and they had a golden opportunity to double their lead when Ansah was released in the box but his low effort was saved by the sprawling De Vries.
But with 67 minutes gone they claimed the goal their efforts deserved as Ozyakup coolly slotted home after a sweeping move upfield involving Ansah and Gnabry.
By now Arsenal were in complete control and their third, in the 85th minute, arrived when Roberts met a cross from the right and expertly steered it into the far corner.
- Miquel (C)
- Angha 71
- Ebecilio 73
- Yennaris Goal!
- Ozyakup Goal!
- Ansah 80
- Rees 71
- Roberts 73 Goal!
- Neita 80
Wolverhampton W. Res
- Hammill 83
- Gorman 66
- Kostrna 83
- McAliden 66