Gedion Zelalem says Arsenal Under-21s were rewarded for their patience against Fulham on Friday.
The Gunners had struggled to find the breakthrough against the visitors’ well-organised defence and the game looked to be heading for a goalless draw.
However, Zelalem struck in the 86th minute to secure an opening-day win for Steve Gatting’s side, and the 18-year-old was pleased with how Arsenal stuck to their gameplan.
"We couldn’t get a through ball in the first half but in the second half we kept moving the ball, they got tired and eventually we got the goal"
“It was a good game,” he told Arsenal.com. “We had a lot of possession which we expected and they sat back in the first half. We couldn’t get a through ball in the first half but in the second half we kept moving the ball, they got tired and eventually we got the goal.
“My goal came because I watch the first team a lot and they like to play quick one-twos on the edge of the box. Us youth-team players aspire to be like them so we try to play like them. It worked against Fulham and hopefully the fans enjoyed the goal."
Zelalem was one of the most experienced Arsenal players on the pitch on Friday, and the teenager is relishing having more responsibility within the squad.
“I think I have a bit more influence now,” he said. “I try to help players like Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Yassin Fortune who have just come in. Alex Iwobi has also been with the first team and he’s been helping all of us so it should be an exciting season.”
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