By Chris Harris

It's been one year, seven months and 25 days since Fran Merida scored a Reserve League goal. But when it came, it was worth the wait.

The Spanish midfielder flighted a delightful chip over Dean Kiely to give Arsenal the lead at the Hawthorns on Wednesday night. West Brom hit back to earn a 1-1 draw but Merida's strike will live long in the memory.

It was his first since an equally brilliant free-kick against Tottenham in September 2007 and it capped a pretty good week for the 19-year-old, who made his second Premier League appearance as a substitute in Saturday's 3-0 win at Portsmouth.

"I made the run and Jay [Emmanuel-Thomas] saw me and gave me a great ball. I just saw the chip so I tried it and it went in after nearly two years without scoring a goal," Merida told

"Of course, attacking midfielders have to score goals and this season I haven’t scored until now so I am very happy. In training I normally try to make those runs and it has worked out in the game.

"Obviously I have to take the positives from this season," he added. "I have been involved in the Carling Cup and in the League so that’s great. In the Reserves we’ve been a bit inconsistent and we haven’t had a good run of wins but we’re still very young so we have to be happy with the positives.

"And coming on at Portsmouth was a great experience. Every time you get the chance with the first team it is something special. For me it was a great 12 minutes and I tried to do my best and show the boss what I can do."

Merida is part of a growing Spanish contingent at Emirates Stadium. We know all about Cesc Fabregas but another of Merida's compatriots is making a big splash in the youth ranks - Ignasi Miquel. The 16-year-old central defender has been fast-tracked into the Under-18 team and made an impressive Reserve team debut at the Hawthorns.

"Ignasi is a young lad from Spain," said Merida. "I remember when I made my debut and how I felt so I’m so pleased for him. He is doing very well, he’s happy in London so I am happy for him there as well.

"I try to help him, I see him every day in training but even at 16 he’s older in his mind. He has settled very well in London."

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7 May 2009