Premier League 2
Arsenal 2 (Sanogo, Nelson) Tottenham Hotspur 0
Yaya Sanogo scored his first goal for the club since November 2014 and the ever improving Reiss Nelson was also on the scoresheet as Arsenal U23s prevailed past their Tottenham Hotspur counterparts with a 2-0 victory at London Colney today in the first game since Andries Jonker’s departure as academy manager.
As they did for the victory over Chelsea last week, Arsenal fielded a very strong side for this fixture, with Sanogo, making his first appearance at any level this season after recovering from injury, joined in the team by fellow senior squad members Emiliano Martinez, Carl Jenkinson and Mathieu Debuchy, with the latter operating at centre-back.
Meanwhile, Marcus McGuane was back in the squad and started alongside Nelson at the base of the midfield.
Subs: Nketiah (for Sanogo, 46), Dasilva (for Dragomir, 77). Not used: Keto, Johnson, Olowu.
Sanogo seemed determined to make an impact following his lengthy lay-off and he tested Pau Lopez with an acrobatic effort before later being denied again by the Tottenham goalkeeper.
Arsenal carved out some impressive attacking moves in the opening period and one such sequence culminated in Chris Willock seeing his effort cleared away.
Just before the break Sanogo opened the scoring, with his attempt finding the net after Lopez was unable to keep it out.
Understandably, given how long he has been out, Sanogo was withdrawn at the break, with Eddie Nketiah entering the fray.
It was Tottenham, though, who started the second period in the ascendancy, with Debuchy reacting well to clear Shilow Tracey’s attempt off the line.
Soon, however, Arsenal re-asserted themselves as the dominant force in the game, and were it not for the brilliance of Lopez, Steve Gatting’s side could have chalked up a comprehensive scoreline.
After the lively Willock had shot just wide, Lopez did well to thwart Vlad Dragomir before twice denying Donyell Malen.
Jenkinson, who got forwards with regularity from right-back, was next to try his luck, but it was Nelson who sealed the win as he finished well after being teed up by Malen.
Arsenal U23s are now third in Premier League 2, although they are some 13 points adrift of leaders Everton.