By Connor Armstrong at London Colney
Danny Welbeck got on the scoresheet as our under-23s recorded a 4-1 win over London rivals Chelsea.
The win sees Steve Gatting’s side move level on points with the Blues in the Premier League 2 table - with Rob Holding’s goal getting the ball rolling.
Donyell Malen doubled the advantage, before Reiss Nelson turned home our third goal of the game.
Ike Ugbo pulled one back for the visitors, before Welbeck converted from the penalty spot after Malen was dragged down.
SETTING THE SCENE
Gatting’s side were joined by Welbeck, Holding, Carl Jenkinson and Emi Martinez at London Colney.
The Argentine goalkeeper donned the gloves, with Jenkinson and Holding partnered in defence by captain Ben Sheaf and Cohen Bramall.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jeff Reine-Adelaide paired up in midfield, with Malen, Nelson and Chris Willock more advanced.
Welbeck led our attack.
The Gunners started on the front foot and went close to opening the scoring after 18 minutes when Nelson and Malen combined before Maitland-Niles dragged a low effort wide of the post.
Holding broke the deadlock with 23 minutes played when he rose highest to connect with a corner and head the ball home.
Malen added a second after Holding picked up the ball and drove 40 yards upfield before sliding the ball into the path of the Dutch winger.
Bramall then played a fast-paced one-two on the left flank, overlapping before delivering an inviting ball for Malen, only for Jared Thompson to produce a fine save.
Chelsea looked to be more threatening at the start of the second period, with Martinez called upon to make a swift diving save to keep out Mason Mount’s effort.
The Gunners then stung the Blues with Nelson impudently flicking home a cross from close range after bursting into the penalty area with 60 minutes gone.
Ugbo pulled one back for the visitors but Arsenal were soon back on the front foot. They were given a chance to restore their three-goal lead when Ruben Sammutt dragged Malen down as the Dutchman looked to add a fourth goal, with the referee pointing to the spot.
Welbeck assumed responsibility for the spot-kick and tucked his powered effort just inside the post to wrap up the victory.
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