U21 Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers2 Arsenal 3 (C. Willock, Mavididi, Iwobi)
Arsenal U21s maintained their perfect start to the campaign as they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 away tonight to secure their fifth victory in succession.
Arsenal fell behind early on but gained control courtesy of goals from Chris Willock and the in-form Stephy Mavididi and proceeded to dominate the game, with Alex Iwobi’s strike adding further gloss to the scoreline.
A strike from Jordan Graham ensured a nervous finish, but Arsenal held on to claim all three points.
As expected Willock came into the side in place of the injured Jeff Reine-Adelaide, whilst Deyan Iliev, Stefan O’Connor and Chiori Johnson also missed out.
Subs: Huddart, Mourgos (for C. Willock), Chatzitheodoridis, Robinson, Eyoma.
Arsenal started brightly, with Ben Sheaf seeing a volleyed effort saved, but Wolves responded through Eusebio Bancessi, whose effort was more Helder Postiga than Eusebio.
His next attempt, however, would put Wolves ahead after good work down the left flank from Tommy Rowe.
The comparatively experienced Rowe was causing considerable problems for the Arsenal defence and Matt Macey, who was on the bench for the first-team at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, was forced to make an excellent save to prevent the young Gunners from falling further behind.
That stop appeared to inject the entire Arsenal side with confidence and they duly equalised through Willock, who finished well to make it 1-1 with his first goal at this level.
Bancessi continued to pose an intermittent threat to the Arsenal goal, but Steve Gatting’s side were in front before the interval when Mavididi finished from close range to score his fifth goal in as many games at this level this season.
Kaylen Hinds has been impressive going forwards for Arsenal this season but the youngster was an unlikely hero defensively when he made a spectacular overhead clearance to keep out Bancessi’s latest effort in the dying embers of the first half.
Arsenal had chances to extend their lead after the break, with Iwobi and Sheaf both coming close before an intelligent intervention from Rowe denied Mavididi.
Iwobi then tried his luck again after good work from Kamara, but the youngster, who was called up to the senior Nigeria squad for the first time this week, couldn’t find the net.
The momentum was clearly in Arsenal’s favour, with Hinds then seeing a shot saved and Willock shooting over.
Hinds came perilously close to making it 3-1 when he struck the crossbar following good work in the build-up from Iwobi. It was Iwobi himself who would eventually get the third after taking advantage of some hesitant Wolves defending.
There would be another twist in the tale, however, with Wolves quickly reducing the deficit through Graham.
Former Aston Villa winger Graham sent a free-kick just wide as Wolves cranked up the pressure.
Arsenal, though, managed to hold on, with the introduction of Savvas Mourgos for his U21 debut helping the Gunners to run down the clock.