A steadfast performance on Saturday afternoon saw our Under-21s put four goals past Blackburn Rovers and secure our top spot in Premier League 2.
Mehmet Ali and company joined Mikel Arteta’s first-team squad to become another Arsenal side unbeaten five games into the league season.
Our forward line of Cozier-Duberry, Sagoe Jr, and Butler-Oyedeji hasn’t been short of goals so far this season, and this fixture proved to be no different.
Amario Cozier-Duberry kicked off the scoring with a glorious solo effort, ten minutes in. After picking the ball up at the centre circle and dribbling past several Blackburn players, Cozier-Duberry then shifted the ball onto his left foot and finessed the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.
Under-21 debutant Ethan Nwaneri nearly doubled our lead immediately with a shot outside the box that just went wide of the far post. It didn’t take long for us to hit the target again. An intelligent ball from Nwaneri unlocked Charles Sagoe Jr down the left wing, whose dangerous ball swept across the face of goal and past the keeper.
Torrential rain hit Meadow Park at half-time, adding a slight delay to proceedings, but we were determined to defend and build on our lead after the break. Against the run of play, Blackburn did nab a goal back just before the hour mark, following a quick turn and shot from Harrison Wood.
We continued to look dangerous, however, and Sagoe Jr and Bandeira both came close to scoring on the counter.
Our hard work was rewarded once again in the 77th minute with a moment of brilliance. Sagoe Jr weaved his way through the Blackburn defence and restored our two-goal margin with a shot that nestled in the bottom corner.
Despite being two goals to the good, we refused to take our foot off the gas. In the dying minutes of the game, substitute Billy Vigar whipped a cross in to captain Jack Henry-Francis, who tapped home to end the game 4-1.
We host Dutch side Feyernoord at Meadow Park in the first round of the Premier League International Cup on Tuesday September 6. Kick-off is at 7pm UK time.
Starting XI: Graczyk, Sweet, Foran, Awe, Sousa, Henry-Francis (C), Bandeira, Nwaneri, Cozier-Duberry, Sagoe Jr, Butler-Oyedeji
Substitutes: Hillson, Jeffcott, Vigar, Taylor-Hart, Ideho
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.