Arsenal U23s 3-1 Chelsea U23s: Nketiah bags brilliant double for impressive Gunners
PUBLISHED: 20:58 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 21:03 15 April 2019
PA Archive/PA Images
Eddie Nketiah bagged a superb brace to help an impressive Arsenal Under 23s beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on Monday night in Premier League 2.
Released by Chelsea at under-14 level, Nketiah put on a fine display against his former side, opening the scoring on eight minutes with a curling finish on the edge of the box.
He doubled the Gunners lead with 29 minutes on the clock, beating his marker inside the area before smashing home a wonderful finish from a tight angle.
The 19-year-old then set up Carl Jenkinson for a tap in just a minute before half-time to put the away side well in control.
Chelsea – who created little on the night – grabbed a consolation through substitute Daishawn Redan with 83 minutes played, but the Gunners held on for an impressive win.
Freddie Ljungberg's side saw most of the ball in the opening stages, with Nketiah having the games first chance when he wriggled free inside the 18-yard box and flashed a shot across goal from a tight angle.
He went one better on eight minutes though, as he opened the scoring.
Daniel Ballard did well to win a loose ball near the halfway line, finding Bukayo Saka who then fed Nketiah on the edge of the area. The England youth international opened his body and curled a beautiful first-time, left foot finish beyond Karlo Ziger into the far the corner.
Nketiah was released by Chelsea as an under-14, and he was showing his former club exactly what they were missing out on, bagging his and Arsenal's second with a superb finish on 29 minutes.
The 19-year-old picked the ball up just inside the Blues penalty box, beating his marker with a few step overs before rifling home from a seemingly impossible angle to make it 2-0.
The first-half was one of few chances in truth, but the Gunners had taken theirs to punish the home side, and they made it 3-0 with just seconds to go until the interval.
Nketiah created this one, breaking free on the right, before squaring for a marauding Jenkinson to tap home from close range and cap off a great 45 minutes of football for the Gunners.
Chelsea livened up in the first 15 minutes of the second-half, but they still failed to create any real chances, with Arsenal going closest to scoring next, as Saka tested Ziger with a powerful drive.
Despite having little to do, Arthur Okonkwo was switched on the visitor's goal when the Blues had their first clear cut chance on 73 minutes, reacting brilliantly to get the faintest of touches on a close range effort from substitute Tariq Uwakwe.
His clean sheet would be gone 10 minutes later though as Daishawn Redan tapped home after the 17-year-old stopper had one well to save another Uwakwe shot.
But, Ljungberg's men held on for the win, well-derserved after an impressive display.