We progressed to knockout stages of the Premier League International Cup, as goals from Robbie Burton, Folarin Balogun and James Olayinka secured a 3-0 win against Leicester City at Meadow Park.
We entered the match knowing a point would be enough after recording wins against Villarreal and Dinamo Zagreb in our opening two matches.
The first chance of the evening fell to the visitors as Bartosz Kapustka controlled well inside the box, but dragged his low effort wide.
Karl Hein was called into action shortly after when Zech Medley uncharacteristically gifted possession to Ali Reghba, who drove into the box and shifted the ball to Callum Wright, whose tame effort was saved by our keeper.
We were awarded a penalty inside 25 minutes when Nathan Tormey was brought down by Tobias Johansson after he had reacted quickly to receive Balogun’s rebounded strike, and Burton made no mistake from the spot.
Balogun had a great chance to double our advantage early in the second half when Tormey delivered a great ball into the box but our striker’s header from close range was deflected wide.
Moments later, Balogun did get the better of Johansson when he collected the ball on the edge of the box and took a touch, before hitting a powerful effort past the Foxes keeper from long range.
Hein produced another great save when he got down low to divert Wright’s effort from close range away with his feet.
Olayinka then wrapped up the points when he received the ball on the edge of the box, drove into the area and slotted calmly into the bottom corner.
WHAT IT MEANS
We progress into the knockout stages of the competition as winners of Group A and join, Wolfsburg, West Ham, Benfica, Newcastle, Swansea, Porto, Derby and Monaco in doing so.
The remaining teams in the next phase of the competition are yet to be decided and the draw will take place in late January.
We return to Premier League 2 action on Sunday, February 2 as we face Liverpool away from home.
By Sam Cox
Copyright 2022 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.