Mehmet delighted with win at Liverpool

Arsenal under-21s head coach Mehmet Ali was pleased with his side’s performance following our impressive 2-0 win over Liverpool, which marked the conclusion of our regular season campaign in the Premier League 2.

Amario Cozier-Duberry's first-half brace proved decisive as we secured a crucial victory over Liverpool, claiming all three points and entering the play-offs on a winning note.

"I'm really pleased with our players' performance today. It's worth noting that our kit man, Paul Wilson, mentioned to me last night that in his eight seasons here, our under-21s have never secured a victory at Liverpool. So, it's particularly satisfying to break that streak and secure the win, especially considering the manner in which we achieved it.

"The first half was a showcase of two quality teams going head-to-head. Both sides had their moments, but what set us apart was our clinical finishing. However, what impressed me the most was our humility in the second half. We defended resolutely and didn't concede a goal. In previous matches, we've struggled to maintain our lead after going ahead, but today, our defensive discipline was commendable."

Mehmet specifically praised the cohesion of our front three during the match, especially the performance of goalscorer Amario Cozier-Duberry.

"He was exceptional today. His first goal, a first-time finish at the back post, was fantastic, and credit to Nathan for providing the assist. Then his second goal was pure individual brilliance, bending it into the side netting. Our front three were lively and energetic throughout the game, constantly posing a threat. While we capitalized on some opportunities, there's still room for improvement, especially in our transition play, where we could have been more clinical.”

Mehmet also commended the outstanding performance of goalkeeper Brian Okonkwo, noting his crucial saves that resulted in his first clean sheet for our under-21 side, achieved in just his third game at this level.

"They had quite a few shots, and Brian did exceptionally well, making some top saves. That's the kind of performance he consistently delivers when he's guarding our goal, and I'm really pleased with his contribution so far.”

He praised the professionalism of Jurrien Timber, highlighting his dedication as he continues to make a comeback from his ACL injury. 

“To make two trips up north within a week with the under-21s, especially considering his profile towards the end of the season, demonstrates his eagerness to return and make an impact with our first team. It's evident that he's determined to hit the ground running and showcase his abilities. Moreover, he's been an exemplary professional, serving as a role model for our younger players. I'm extremely pleased with his performance.”

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