U18 Premier League
Norwich City 0 Arsenal 4 (Swanson 6, Olayinka 34, Saka 79, McEneff 81)
Schoolboy substitute Bukayo Saka scored and provided an assist as Arsenal U18s thrashed Norwich City 4-0 away today to keep their feint title hopes alive.
Following this victory, which also included goals from Zak Swanson, James Olayinka and Jordan McEneff, the young Gunners are now nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea with a game in hand.
They secured this win without some of their usual players as the likes of Joao Virginia, Vontae Daley-Campbell, Danny Ballard and Tyreece John-Jules weren’t involved, perhaps with tomorrow’s U23 game against Chelsea in mind.
There was a rare start for Daniel Barden in goal, while Swanson was deployed at right-back and Tobi Omole moved into midfield.
McEneff was also given a start, with Arsenal’s depleted resources emphasised by the fact that they only named three substitutes, with no goalkeeper on the bench.
Subs: Saka (for Balogun, 64), Beckford (for Omole, 70), Spencer-Adams (for Coyle, 80).
Arsenal got off to a flying start, with Swanson opening the scoring after just six minutes.
It was 2-0 before the break when Olayinka, who will hope to now establish himself as a regular starter at this level, scored his third goal of the season.
There was more to come from Arsenal and Saka was at the very heart of it as the lively winger finished adroitly in the 79th minute before teeing up McEneff shortly afterwards, with the latter scoring his first official goal for the club.
This win sets Arsenal up nicely for Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup semi-final, first leg tie away to Blackpool, although some of the players who will feature in that game will be in action or the U23s tomorrow.