By Connor Armstrong at Meadow Park
A hat-trick from Eddie Nketiah saw our under-23 side chalk up a third straight win in Premier League 2.
The 17-year-old forward went into the game in search of his first goal in this competition, but he found the net after just 15 minutes with a perfectly-placed curling effort.
Nketiah then doubled his tally for the evening with a low, drilled finish after picking up the ball and charging upfield.
His hat-trick was complete when he pounced from close range to put the seal on a memorable performance, which saw the Gunners move up to 4th in the table.
SETTING THE SCENE
Steve Gatting was once again without a number of players, with Wednesday night’s EFL Cup quarter-final against Southampton on the horizon.
Hugo Keto started in goal, with Chiori Johnson, Ben Sheaf, Kris Da Graca and Josh Dasilva lining up in defence.
Gedion Zelalem partnered captain Ismael Bennacer in midfield, with the trio of Reiss Nelson, Vlad Dragomir and Chris Willock playing further forward.
Nketiah led the line for the Gunners, and he was looking for his first goal at under-23 level.
We wasted no time in getting started at Meadow Park, but Dragomir could have done with more composure in front of goal, lashing over an early effort.
Nketiah opened the scoring within the opening quarter of an hour, racing on to a through ball from Nelson before curling past Iverson in the Leicester goal.
Keto then produced a fine stop at his near post to keep out the powerful effort of Admiral Muskwe.
It was then the turn of Keto’s opposite number, Iverson, to produce an impressive save, dropping quickly to his left to turn Nelson’s angled drive round the post.
Gatting’s side were keen to make an equally convincing start to the second period and they did just that with Nketiah drilling home after just six minutes.
Within two further minutes, he had completed his hat-trick. The third goal illustrated another facet of Nketiah’s play, with the 17-year-old pouncing and reacting fastest to poke home from close range.
It would be wrong to assume that we went completely untroubled by Leicester, however, with Keto required to pull off two sharp saves in quick succession.
He then impressively thwarted Elliott Moore’s diving header, punching the ball to safety to ensure the Gunners ended with a clean sheet.
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