Nketiah hits brace and Akpom impresses as Arsenal beat Norwich in Carabao Cup


Eddie Nketiah, on as a substitute, scored a brace on his first competitive appearance at Emirates Stadium to give Arsenal a 2-1 win over Norwich City at Emirates Stadium tonight and send them through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

Arsenal had started in disappointing fashion, with Norwich taking the lead in the first half through Josh Murphy, who got the better of debutant Matt Macey.

Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles were again deployed as wing-backs but, although they showed some encouraging signs at times, the pair seemed vulnerable defensively and would surely be better suited playing elsewhere.

Chuba Akpom made his first senior appearance for Arsenal this season when he was brought on as a substitute and the attacker helped to provide his side with added momentum but it was Nketiah’s introduction that changed the game.

The forward, who has been so clinical at youth level in recent seasons, scored with a neat finish shortly introduction and then got what proved to be the winner with a header in extra time.

Josh Dasilva and Joe Willock entered the fray as substitutes, while there were first senior call-ups for Deyan Iliev and Jordi Osei-Tutu on the bench, who were joined by Ben Sheaf.

Macey, meanwhile, improved after a difficult start and became the first English goalkeeper to play for Arsenal in a competitive first-team game at Emirates Stadium.

The headlines, though, belong to Nketiah, who quickly endeared himself to the club’s supporters, with chants of “Eddie, Eddie” ringing around the ground.



  1. Arsenal keeps on producing young talents. Well done Eddie, and hope to see more of what you have to offer when called upon in the future.

  2. I think Akpom held on to the ball too long at times. I think he could have done better.
    Macey looks like a No. 1
    Nketiah is a Classic Center Forward

  3. I thought Akpom lacked confidence and sharpness but improved massively in Extra Time. He looked dangerous and you could see the confidence in the yougnster whem on the left side with his friends from youth levels. The way he linked up with Iwobi and the other youth players was impressive. He harried the tired Canaries and was unlucky not to score. He should be given more chances.

    Great burst of speed by Nketiah and excellent display. He deserves all the plaudits. Both him and Akpom offer more than Walcott from the bench, but the closest of the youngsters , Nelson included to the 1st team is Maitland Niles. He is ready , and should replace Coquelin as the DM. He can tackle, pass and is disciplined….and has pace to burn.

  4. Although I agree that AM-N often doesn’t look comfortable as LWB, he’s always looked good as RWB. Whilst he’s long term position is more central, the consistency problems that most young players have (and where a poor game can effect their confidence badly), would be less of an issue in the RWB role… But Coquelin does need to ‘up his game’ at the moment or AM-N will be taking his place very soon.

  5. Joe Willock does not have yet the physical strength to play as a DM in the Premiership. He could not finish the game due to cramp. The premiership is even faster.
    AMN may end up playing Central Midfield, but IMHO he is not yet ready. But for a different reason than Willock. He is not yet psychological my ready. Because he is afraid to make a mistake, most of his passes tend to be lateral and sideways. Something that Willock does not suffer from. If he is to replace Granite he has to accept that he need to up his medium to long forward pass game. Taking risk is part of the position.
    Regarding Coquelin, i think that because of his style of touch he was more affected by the lightness of the ball. If Guardiola Nd the entire Manchester City team can complain about it, we can accept that this is real.

    1. Willock only played 6 minutes…
      You need to rewatch AMN playing central midfield. He plays a lot of through balls and forward passes. Also has the ability to run with the ball from deep.
      When he plays on the left he is hampered so often cuts back in to his right foot – a natural thing for a right footer on the left.

      1. Willock could not finish the game against BATE due to cramp. Premiership games are even faster. He would just pop his hamstring around the 65/70 minutes mark. Exactly the same kind of ridiculous injury that Mavididi suffered at Charlton.
        I also think that AFC conditioning is not as good as some other teams such as Spurs, Burnley or Manchester City.
        Regarding AMN, i just think that he is capable of much more than what he has shown in the AFC first team. As central midfielder, Benacer (who has since left the club) and him were the only U23 players who looked ready for first team inclusion. At 16 he was a rampaging winger, the same at Ipswich. For Arsenal first team he plays too safe (mind you with Xhaka lack of awareness maybe that’s not such a bad thing). Without taking too much from his mouthy mother, he needs to get out of his shell. There is some middle ground between the current Pussycat and the devil may care attitude. AW selects him to play with the first team because he believe in him. In his latest interview, AW praises him, saying that he could be displacing Granit. AMN should start playing like he knows that he belong to the first team. Take the handbrake off.

  6. Spot on here about the youngsters.

    Chambers Holding Sheaf
    Niles Willock adelaide Da Silva
    Nelson Iwobi

    Iliev, osei-tutu, pleguezuelo, zelalem, mcguane, Dragomir, akpom,

    That’s is some crop of under 23s there. And that ain’t all of them!!

    1. Zelalem will not make it at Arsenal. Too brittle. Good on the ball, but not quick enough. Also problem of concentration means that quite often he just drift out of games.
      Akpom will have a career a la Afobe. Decent player, just not good enough for Arsenal, unless he successfully reinvent himself as a left winger or Left wingback.
      Adelaide will return to a mid level club in Ligue 1 where his fragile body will be able to cope. Great player, but unable to stay for for any great length of time.
      Chambers, Holding, Iwobi and AMN are already part of the first team. Nelson and Willock are on the fringe and may be full member next season.
      mcGuane may get his opportunity if we reach the final of the EFL Cup and pass a few rounds of the FA Cup.
      Nketia is likely to be sent on loan next season before his full integration the following season.
      For the rest, we just have to hope that they will be able to make the step up.

      1. As I said a great crop of under 23s.

        I think all will have decent careers, obviously not all will be with arsenal as the crave to spend by the fans will put pay to some youngsters arsenal careers. Obviously, some will not achieve the acquired level to play for Arsenal, but that has and always will be the case.

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