Arsenal under-18s moved up to 3rd in the table after coming from behind to win 3-1 at Leicester, less than 24 hours after beating Swansea by the same score line in the FA Youth Cup.
Only Aaron Eyoma and Savvas Mourgos were involved in both squads, but good depth at this level allowed Arsenal to still field a strong-looking line up. This included the likes of Yassin Fortune, Vlad Dragomir and Eddie Nketiah, who has an impressive 11 league goals this season.
Josh DaSilva had a shot that deflected kindly into the arms of Leicester goalkeeper Cameron Yates as both sides fought to get on top, but it was the Foxes who took the lead thanks to a large stroke of luck. There wasn’t much danger when Kairo Mitchell picked up the ball on the edge of the area, but his shot took a huge deflection off Arsenal defender Kostas Pileas to send the ball looping over the helpless Ryan Huddart and into the net.
Hamza Choudhury had a shot saved by Ryan Huddsrt as Leicester looked to double their lead, but it was the visitors who hit back with an equaliser just before half-time. Dragomir won the ball in midfield allowing Mourgos to drive at the heart of the defence and slip the ball through to Fortune, who rifled in a shot across Yates for his 4th goal in five league games.
Arsenal were quickly in front after the break, thanks to a well-deserved goal from the excellent Mourgos. After more good work from Fortune, Mourgos’ shot from the edge of the area was parried away by Yates but only as far as Nathan Tella, who drilled the ball back into the danger area for Mourgos to tap home.
Josh Eppiah fired over from a corner as Leicester looked for a quick response, and they were very nearly level when Mitchell breezed away from the floundering Pileas but his shot was turned around the post by Huddart. From the resulting corner, a real scramble saw several shots blocked before Fortune broke the full length of the pitch and set up Tella with a tap-in, but the offside flag cut short the Arsenal celebrations.
However, with six minutes to play, Arsenal did gain the comfort of a two goal lead. Nketiah was fouled a fraction outside the area, and DaSilva stepped up to bend a delightful free kick over the wall and past Yates to seal the win.
Next up for the under-18s is a big game at home to 6th placed Fulham next Tuesday.