U21 Premier League Cup
Burnley 1 (Mellon 54) Arsenal 3 (Ideho 8, Bandeira 17 (pen.), Ideho 59)
Joel Ideho scored twice as a much-changed Arsenal U21 side returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory away to Burnley in the Premier League Cup today.
Arsenal often rotate in this competition and there were further changes on this occasion with several players missing due to international duty.
As a result, first year scholars Maldini Kacurri and Harrison Dudziak were given their debuts at this level, while on the bench Alexei Rojas, Josh Nichols and Jimi Gower were called up for the first time.
There were also chances in the starting lineup for the likes of James Hillson, Josh Robinson, George Lewis and Billy Vigar.
Reuell Walters, who was deployed at centre-back captained the side as he made his first start after injury.
Subs: Gower (for Dudziak, 46), Foran (for Walters, 71), Taylor-Hart (for Gower, 73), Nichols (for Lewis, 82). Not used: Rojas.
Arsenal were eager to build upon their win against Swansea City in their opening game in this competition but they faced a Burnley side containing two experienced players in Matt Lowton and Kevin Long.
The young Gunners weren’t daunted, however, and took the lead after just eight minutes, with Ideho scoring with a curled effort from outside the box.
Burnley sought to equalise immediately, with Hillson pressed into action as he made a save.
Arsenal were then awarded a penalty as Lewis was fouled by Owen Dodgson in the area. Mauro Bandeira stepped up to convert the spot-kick for his first goal at this level.
Mehmet Ali made an alteration at the break, with Gower replacing fellow debutant Dudziak.
Burnley managed to reduce the deficit through Michael Mellon, who scored after being found by Marcel Lewis.
Arsenal managed to restore their two-goal lead quickly, though, with Ideho scoring again after dribbling into the area and finishing well having received the ball from Bradley Ibrahim.
Gower had to go off after suffering a slight injury, with Kido Taylor-Hart replacing him, while Taylor Foran came on for Walters.
There was still time for Arsenal to give another player their U21 debut as talented full-back Nichols entered the fray in place of Elian Quesada-Thorn.
Overall, it was a very good workout for Arsenal, with three goals and four debutants.