Our under-21s picked up their first points of 2023 after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Leicester City in the Premier League 2 at Meadow Park on Friday night.
Coming off the back of Sunday’s defeat to Manchester City, Mehmet Ali's side started slowly and were behind within the first 10 minutes as we failed to deal with the visitors’ short corner.
Despite dominating the ball, we struggled to create many clear-cut opportunities in the first half-hour while trying to find an equaliser against the visitors' stubborn defence.
Slowly but surely we started to find gaps in the away side’s backline and almost levelled terms when Matt Smith’s effort forced Chituru Odunze into a smart stop.
Just before the break, we had two golden opportunities to score, but Nathan Butler-Oyedeji was unable to find the finish to complement Smith’s pass and moments later, Amario Cozier-Duberry poked his effort inches past the post.
After the interval, we started on the front foot and were almost level immediately, but Ethan Nwaneri’s close-range strike was somehow tipped behind for a corner. Cozier-Duberry went close once again shortly after, but sent his strike the wrong side of the post.
However, we finally got our deserved equaliser just before the hour mark as Zach Awe rose highest in the box to head home from Smith’s pinpoint delivery.
Charles Sagoe Jr came close to putting us ahead, but Odunze once again came to the rescue as were turned up the heat on the visitors.
Eventually, The Foxes resistance was broken with just five minutes remaining when Cozier-Duberry’s blocked shot found its way to Butler-Oyedeji, who stabbed home a dramatic late winner to secure three well-deserved points.
WHAT IT MEANS
We stay in second place in the Premier League 2 table, level on points with the league leaders, Chelsea, and trailing only on goal difference having played a game less than our London rivals.
We're back in Premier League Cup action on Wednesday, January 18, as we host Burnley in our final match of the group stage.
Kick-off at Meadow Park is at 7pm (UK time).
Arsenal: Graczyk (GK), Walters, Monlouis (Foran, 73), Awe, Sousa, Smith, Cottrell (Henry-Francis, 73), Nwaneri (Cirjan, 60), Cozier-Duberry, Sagoe Jr, Butler-Oyedeji (Vigar, 90)
Subs not used: Hillson
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