Arsenal U23 2-1 Spurs U23: Joe Willock and Tyreece John-Jules seal victory for young guns in Premier League 2 North London derby
- Credit: Archant
Arsenal U23s beat North London rivals Spurs U23s 2-1 at the Emirates on Friday evening in Premier League 2.
A third minute goal from Joe Willock before an excellent strike from Tyreece John-Jules 13 minutes after the break sealed the victory for the home side.
A late goal from Jaden Brown wasn’t enough to prevent the win – which could have been more but Charlie Gilmour had a penalty well-saved by Tottenham keeper Brandon Austin with 15 minutes to go.
Spurs had Troy Parrott sent off during a scuffle late on as the Gunners thoroughly dominated their opponents,
Freddie Ljungberg made three changes to his young guns from his side that beat West Ham 3-2 at a wet and windy London Stadium last time out.
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Hoffenheim-bound Reiss Nelson left the club on loan prior to the match as he heads to the Bundesliga side for the season with John-Jules taking his place.
Substitute at the former Olympic Stadium, James Olayinka started while Eddie Nketiah, who hit a brace on the night, was not included.
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Over-age 25-year-old former Independiente goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez replaced Deyan Iliev as the junior gunners started with a bang with Willock netting after only 180 seconds to make it 1-0.
Ljungberg’s youngsters continued their bright start, dominating the first half against a Spurs side which lost meekly 3-1 to West Ham U23s in their previous London derby this month.
Spurs made eight changes from the early season defeat against the young Irons at Stevenage, with only the highly-rated Japhet Tankanga surviving, while even the highly-rated Samuel Shashoua did not make the squad.
Arsenal went close on 34 minutes as the lively Willock raced through on goal following a perfectly weighted pass from John-Jules, but was denied by Spurs keeper Brandon Austin with a brilliant diving save.
Austin’s performance was solid all evening as he fully justified replacing Alfie Whiteman between the sticks for the visitors from N17.
The second half continued in the same vein as the Arsenal doubled their lead through John-Jules with a powerful strike into the bottom left hand corner to make it 2-0 on 58 minutes.
It could have been 3-0 with 15 minutes to go but the excellent Austin saved well from Gilmour’s penalty after Tankanga was adjudged to have fouled substitute Bukayo Saka, who replaced starlet Emile Smith-Rowe in the second period.
With six minutes to go in front of the official attendance of 1,422 Troy Parrott was sent off by referee Adrian Qulech after a scuffle involving the majority of players from both sides.