Premier League 2: Arsenal U23 2 Leicester U23 1
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Tyreece John-Jules shone as Arsenal U23s continued their strong start to the Premier League 2 Division One season with a 2-1 win over Leicester City U23s.
The 18-year-old scored two second-half goals to switch the fortunes of the game following Ali Reghba's opener.
Rob Holding and Dinos Mavropanos also continued with their recovery from injury, before the latter was substituted in the second half.
Leicester began the strongest of the teams, asserting themselves on Arsenal from the start.
In the first 10 minutes, the visitors had three free-kicks in the final third and George Hirst fired one into the side netting, one flew wide and the other was well dealt with by Karl Hein in goal.
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Steve Bould's side settled into the game after this but still struggled to find much rhythm.
The foul count increased and Leicester kept the pressure in Arsenal's half but the young Gunners looked to counter through their attacking quartet of Nathan Tormey, John-Jules, Trae Coyle and Flo Balogun.
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Although they couldn't connect well enough, it gave Arsenal confidence and their first real chance came as a result.
After a good spell in possession, the ball fell to Tormey just outside the box. On the run, he flicked the ball up before volleying goalwards but Tobias Victor Johansson was quick enough to tip the ball over the bar.
Leicester then took a deserved lead as Reghba made a strong run into the box from the right wing and slipped the ball under Hein.
Balogun almost replied instantly for Arsenal but his left-footed effort was deflected wide. Then Holding also went close with a header before the break but could only direct it onto the post.
The Gunners swung the momentum of the game immediately after the break through John-Jules.
Tormey connected well with Balogun, who drove down the left, looked up and dinked the ball to the 18-year-old John-Jules to smash home with his left foot.
John-Jules then gave Arsenal the lead on 51 minutes as yet again, he was the free man, found by Balogun before he drove into the box and whipped the ball into the net.
Arsenal's quick change in fortune looked to come from a switch to a back three of Holding, Mavropanos and newly introduced Zech Medley, with John-Jules joining Balogun as a central striker.
Midway through the half, the Foxes had two golden chances to equalise but couldn't take either.
The first fell to George Thomas who was free on the penalty spot but skied his effort. The next came to Hirst but he couldn't shake off Holding who stole the ball.
Leicester kept piling on the pressure with Kiernan Dewbury-Hall forcing Hein into a reaction save but Arsenal had another gear.
Balogun helped close the game out with his skill and endeavour but couldn't extend the lead.
First, he hit the post with a chip over the Leicester before battling Darnell Johnson on the touchline, driving inside and seeing his shot blocked.