UEFA Youth League
Arsenal 3 (Nelson, Nketiah (2)) Ludogorets 0
Arsenal U19s kick-started their UEFA Youth League campaign with an emphatic 3-0 victory at home to Ludogorets today, with Edward Nketiah hitting a brace and Reiss Nelson also getting on the scoresheet.
After drawing with Paris Saint-Germain and suffering an agonising late defeat to Basel, Arsenal were in need of a victory on this occasion and they achieved their aim, with Nelson scoring an early goal with a neat finish before Nketiah made it 2-0 from the penalty spot and later added further gloss to the scoreline.
Joao Virginia was given a start in goal, while Nketiah was also involved from the outset having impressed at U23 level of late. With Tolaji Bola not involved, first-year scholar Joseph Olowu was named on the bench.
Johnson-Bielik-Da Graca-M. Bola
Subs: McGuane (for DaSilva, 46), Hinds (for Dragomir, 57), Coyle (for Malen, 76). Not used: Keto, Olowu, Osei-Tutu, Mourgos.
Arsenal were eager to make an early impact and Ludogorets were unable to cope when a brisk move up-field culminated in Nketiah playing the ball into the path of Nelson, who finished well to open the scoring.
Chances were limited for much of the rest of the first-half, but it seemed clear that Arsenal’s quality would eventually shine through and that was what transpired when Nketiah scored from the penalty spot after being brought down in the area.
That was the forward’s first goal above U18 level and he got his second shortly afterwards when he headed home to cap off an impressive all-round display.