It was a significant night for the Arsenal academy as Unai Emery’s side beat Vorskla Poltava 3-0 away in the Europa League, with a host of youngsters playing a significant part.
Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock both managed to get on the scoresheet, while striker Eddie Nketiah also started and impressed with his link-up play, although he will have been disappointed not to have found the net. Aaron Ramsey got Arsenal’s other goal from the penalty spot.
In the second half Zech Medley, Bukayo Saka and Charlie Gilmour all made their first-team debuts and didn’t look out of place on the senior stage. Tyreece John-Jules and Jordi Osei-Tutu were unused substitutes, while Dominic Thompson and Deyan Iliev also travelled with the squad.
Smith Rowe, as he often has in the Europa League this season, produced an encouraging performance, demonstrating his excellent close control.
The youngster did make a couple of mistakes defensively, but his overall performance was of a very high standard and he found the net again only to see his effort ruled out for offside on that occasion.
Willock was especially impressive, with the midfielder having grown in confidence this season to produce some excellent displays. The England youth international frequently broke forwards from midfield, and did so for his goal, which was taken extremely well.
It seems likely that these youngsters, after this performance, will be involved against Qarabag at home in the final group game.