Post-Match Report

Reserves: Birmingham 0-4 Arsenal - Report

Birmingham City Res -

St Andrews
Barclays Under-21 Premier League
Barclays Under-21 Premier League
  Birmingham City Res
Birmingham City Res
0 4
  Arsenal U23
Arsenal U23

By Nick Teale

Arsenal followed last week's success against Fulham with another convincing win in the Reserve League South.
Goals from Gilles Sunu, Craig Eastmond and a brace from Sanchez Watt gave Neil Banfield's side a 4-0 win over Birmingham City at St Andrews.
Kyle Bartley captained the side, which featured the likes of Armand Traore, Gavin Hoyte and Fran Merida.
After some early half-chances for the hosts, Arsenal began to pass the ball around the way you would expect of a Gunners side.

With 16 minutes on the clock Sunu collected the ball on the left wing. The Frenchman played the ball back to Merida who floated the ball to Mark Randall. The right midfielder, who had drifted in at the back post, hit his first-touch shot over.
Two minutes later Arsenal saw another effort marginally miss the target. Merida lifted the ball over the City backline to Eastmond whose left-footed shot rolled inches wide of the far post.
Banfield's side took the lead with 33 minutes played. Francis Coquelin won the ball in midfield and found Merida who played the ball through to Watt. The striker slotted the ball comfortably past City keeper Colin Doyle.
Five minutes later the Gunners' lead was doubled. Traore, dancing down the left, cut the ball back to  Eastmond and the 18-year-old struck home from six yards.
Arsenal were taking full command of the game, and three minutes before the break they extended their lead. Coquelin played a superb through ball to Sunu, who made no error with the finish. His placed shot into the bottom corner went in off the far post.
Birmingham could have pulled one back in first-half stoppage time. Jake Jervis played the ball in to Kevin Phillips who knocked the ball on for Ashley Sammons, but the City midfielder fired over from ten yards.
With six minutes of the second half played, Arsenal scored their fourth. Sunu's cross from the left was met at the back post by the head of Watt, who bagged his second of the night from eight yards.
Sunu continued to liven up the left wing. With 65 minutes gone the 18-year-old got to the byline and pulled the ball back to Watt. Despite pressure from three City defenders, the man in search of his hat-trick managed to fire a shot at goal but saw it safely held by Doyle.
With 18 minutes remaining Luke Freeman, introduced in place of Watt two minutes previously, glanced a shot wide having received the ball from Traore.
That was Traore's final major act of the game as the French left back limped off shortly afterwards, leaving Arsenal a man short having already made all three substitutions.
Perhaps Birmingham's best chance of the game came with just three minutes left to play. Full-back Mitch Hancox sent in a cross from deep, but substitute Josh Hakwer headed over from close range.
In the final minute of the match Hoyte almost added to the score. But his header from Coquelin's corner went just wide of the far post.
Arsenal were convincing and dominant in a game they deserved to win. It's now two wins out of two for the Reserves.

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