By Connor Armstrong
A Donyell Malen brace and a Joe Willock goal saw Kwame Ampadu’s under-18 side clock up a 3-0 win over Brighton on Saturday.
The young Gunners got off to a flying start when Willock slotted home the opener after just eight minutes.
Malen then opened his account for the season, sweeping a finish inside the foot of the far post and beyond the grasp of the goalkeeper.
The Dutch forward then added a gloss to the scoreline, with a stunning acrobatic finish from a Willock cross to bank the points.
SETTING THE SCENE
Ampadu made six changes from the side that drew 1-1 at Swansea for the trip to Sussex.
Hugo Keto was handed the gloves and started in goal ahead of Joao Virginia, while Tolaji Bola started at left-back.
Josh Benson and Tobi Omole dropped to the bench, with Robbie Burton earning a starting berth.
Malen, Josh Dasilva and Reiss Nelson were all named in the starting line up.
The Gunners started on the front foot from the very first kick and broke the deadlock after just eight minutes.
Burton, Malen and Willock combined to devastating effect, with the latter stroking home the opening goal of the game.
Dasilva dictated play from midfield and showed his qualities on the ball when a smart pass spotted Malen, who swivelled before sending an effort inside the far post.
Arsenal went in three goals up at the break, with Malen providing a brilliant acrobatic finish to an inch-perfect floated cross from Willock.
While all of the game’s goals were scored in the opening 45 minutes, the Gunners were unfortunate not to add to their tally in the second period.
Despite an impressive attacking display, Ampadu’s side had Hugo Keto to thank for keeping their clean sheet intact when he tipped a whipped Danny Mandriou free-kick on to the crossbar.
It could have been 4-0 to Arsenal, but for some excellent goalkeeping courtesy of Bailey Vose in the Brighton goal late on.
He first denied Malen a hat-trick after the forward took aim with a powerful drive, before springing back up to thwart Bola’s follow-up attempt.
The Gunners left the south coast with a three-goal win and a clean sheet as they continue as the only side yet to suffer defeat this season.
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