Arsenal U19s continued their excellent start to their UEFA Youth League campaign by thrashing Galatasaray 5-1 at Meadow Park this afternoon.
Gedion Zelalem put Arsenal ahead with his first goal for the club on the stroke of half-time and the floodgates opened in the second-half, with Kaylen Hinds, Chris Willock, Alex Iwobi and Dan Crowley all finding the net, the latter scoring a penalty.
A victory over Anderlecht in their next game would move Arsenal ever closer to progression to the knock-out stages of the competition, which would be a commendable feat considering the inexperience of this side.
There are, however, some outstanding talents in this group, and Galatasaray struggled to cope with Arsenal’s quick movement and possession football.
The young Gunners signalled their intent from the offset, with Iwobi doing well to find Hinds, who shot over.
Iwobi then embarked on another mazy run and teed up Crowley on this occasion, whose effort rattled the crossbar.
Iwobi came anxiously close to scoring himself when his shot struck the post, but Arsenal were finally rewarded for their efforts when Zelalem manoeuvred his way past three players before finishing confidently for his first Arsenal goal.
With Galatasaray’s resistance finally broken, Arsenal could express themselves more in the second-half.
Tafari Moore, deployed at left-back, crossed for Hinds to make it 2-0. Willock then put the game beyond doubt with a calm finish.
The fourth came courtesy of Iwobi, who fired home after excellent work from Crowley. It was fitting that Crowley would then score himself, with the midfielder capping off an excellent display by scoring a penalty after he was brought down in the area.
Crowley almost scored again not long afterwards, and, although Galatasaray scored the merest of consolations through Furkhan Kopuz, it didn’t take any of the shine off an excellent victory for Arsenal.
Arsenal: Huddart; Johnson, O’Connor, Dobson, Moore; Maitland-Niles, Zelalem; Willock, Crowley, Iwobi; Hinds. Subs: Wright (for O’Connor, 67), Bola (for Moore, 74), Mavididi (for Hinds, 80). Not used: House, Smith, Robinson, Sheaf.