Arsenal Under-18s were beaten 5-0 by West Ham United at London Colney.
Jahmal Hector-Ingram opened the scoring within five minutes and Emmanuel Onariase added a second soon after.
Hector-Ingram then doubled his tally on the stroke of half-time before Jordan Brown and Vashon Neufville completed the scoring after the break.
The young Gunners now sit second bottom in the Premier Academy League having failed to pick up a league win since September’s 3-2 victory over Fulham.
Frans de Kat made one change to the side that lost 1-0 at Southampton as Kristopher Da Graca returned from injury to replace Marc Bola at the heart of defence.
Chris Willock returned to the squad but, with the FA Youth Cup fifth-round clash against Crewe Alexandra in mind, the tricky forward started the game on the bench.
It took just five minutes for Arsenal to be undone by West Ham’s direct approach. Josh Da Silva miscontrolled a high ball and Grady Diangana sent a lofted ball to Joe Powell on the left wing who squared for Hector-Ingram to tap past Hugo Keto.
The visitors were quickly on the attack again and, after Brown won a corner, Onariase climbed high to power Matthew Carter’s delivery into the top corner.
Having seen what was working for the Hammers, Arsenal moved away from their short-passing approach. Elliot Wright’s long ball from the back was brought down by Da Silva to feed Ilias Chatzitheodoridis. The defender cut inside to find fellow Greek Savvas Mourgos, whose shot was beaten away by Sam Howes.
However, West Ham were soon on the attack again and the young Gunners were caught out by another long ball. Da Graca failed to deal with a 40-yard clearance and Hector-Ingram sprinted in behind before chipping over the onrushing Keto.
Arsenal’s two changes at half-time did little to take the sting out of the Hammers’ attacks. Another through ball found its way over the back four to Jeremiah Amoo who pulled back to Brown for an easy finish a minute after the break.
However, the visitors proved they could play possession football too. Tunji Akinola stepped out of defence to feed Powell and West Ham worked the ball across the pitch. Neufville collected the ball on the left side and drove towards the box before his low cross deceived Keto and crept in at the near post.
Arsenal did have a chance to restore some pride right at the end. Harry Donovan and Willock’s pressing forced Akinola into a mistake and the forward powered into the area before pulling back to Donovan who sliced his first-time strike wide.
But West Ham finished the game as they had started and were nearly rewarded with a sixth. Hector-Ingram broke from the halfway line and unselfishly squared to Amoo whose shot was pushed wide by Keto.
“It’s disappointing to lose 5-0,” De Kat said after the game. “We worked very hard but they scored two early goals and that made it a very difficult game for us.”
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