By Lloyd Webb at London Colney
Danny Welbeck played 60 minutes of Arsenal’s 4-1 win against Brighton on Friday afternoon as the striker steps up his recovery.
The England international played his first game in 10 months at London Colney as he nears a return to first-team duty.
However, it was Reiss Nelson who stole the show as he opened the scoring before assisting Krystian Bielik and Stephy Mavididi.
Brighton were gifted a route back into the game when Kris Da Graca gave away a penalty but Matt Macey made a fantastic save to deny him.
Ismael Bennacer added a fourth when he curled a wonderful free-kick into the bottom corner 15 minutes from the end.
The visitors were then awarded another penalty as James Tilley slotted past substitute Ryan Huddart, but it was too little, too late as the Gunners marched to victory.
Setting the scene
Steve Gatting made two changes to his side for this fixture as the suspended Dan Crowley was replaced by Welbeck, while Nelson was named in the starting XI in place of Jeff Reine-Adelaide.
It took the Gunners just two minutes to open the scoring after Nelson capitalised on a defensive error and fired into the roof of the net.
Nelson turned provider soon after when his corner was flicked past Christian Walton by Bielik to double Arsenal’s advantage.
Gatting’s side had a stranglehold on the game by the 17th minute when Mavididi added a third after racing on to Nelson’s through ball and finishing coolly.
Brighton were offered a route back into the game when Da Graca gave away a penalty for a push on Jonah Ayunga.
Jack Harper stepped up but his penalty was palmed away by Macey before the attacker then blazed the loose ball over the bar.
The game started at a slower pace in the second half as the Gunners were happy to control possession.
There were few chances after the interval until Bennacer curled a free-kick into the bottom corner for the hosts’ fourth goal.
The visitors refused to throw in the towel and managed to pull one back after Marcus McGuane fouled Dylan Barnett in the box. Tilley scored the resulting penalty but the Gunners eased to victory.
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