Once again, our two academy sides had fixtures the weekend, and you can see everything in one place with Academy Action!
Mehmet Ali's under-21s continued their 100 per cent start to the campaign with a win against Leicester City with Ethan Nwaneri bagging a hat-trick, while Jack Wilshere's under-18s battled to get a point from their trip to West Bromwich Albion.
Arsenal U21s 4-1 Leicester City U21s
Nwaneri was the star of the show as he netted a hat-trick to help us overturn a one-goal deficit and beat the Foxes at Meadow Park.
The visitors took the lead against the run of play when Tom Wilson Brown poked home, but in first-half stoppage time Nwaneri rattled home from the six-yard box to send us into the break all square.
Leicester skipper Paul Appiah was red-carded after bringing down Khayon Edwards when he was bearing down on goal, and we cranked up the pressure with further goals from Nwaneri and James Sweet, before the 16-year-old midfielder completed his treble late on after good work from Charles Sagoe Jr.
Post-match Ali was keen to share the praise around his team: “I’m really pleased for Ethan, he works really hard and I thought tonight his composure and positioning were brilliant and he got the rewards for it," said our under-21s boss. “It was three really good goals but massive credit must go to his teammates for providing him with the opportunities.”
Sagoe Jr was pleased with his contribution, even if he couldn't quite get on the scoresheet himself: "I was unlucky in this game, I hit the post and had a shot saved!" he smiled. "I'm happy for the team and to get the three points. It's a good feeling to get the assist for Ethan's hat-trick, so all in all, it was a good day. I'm trying to have effective performances and help the team as much as possible by picking up goals and assists."
West Bromwich Albion U18s 1-1 Arsenal U18s
Just like their older counterparts the day before, our under-18s had to come from behind to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign at Albion's training ground.
The home side took the lead when Adriel Walker’s deflected shot found its way into the back of the net, but after a half-time regroup we came out firing and Osman Kamara pounced on some hesitancy in the area to equalise.
On what he said to the players to inspire them to battle back, Wilshere said: "I told them to believe and show some personality, and when you get into dangerous areas, make every action count. At half-time I felt we'd dominated without actually hurting them, and I wanted to see us hurt them more, and we did that."
Goalscorer Kamara meanwhile was already looking forward to this weekend's north London derby: "Jack shows us the importance of Tottenham. It's always an important game so I think our boys will be more up for it and start with more fire and get the three points hopefully."
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