November 1, 2021

Our under-23s climbed to the top of the Premier League 2 table on Friday night with an impressive 4-2 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road.

Kevin Betsy’ side have now won seven of their opening 10 league fixtures, scoring more goals than any other team and displaying weekly improvement in defence.

But despite that, it was the hosts who opened the scoring early on and in an unfortunate manner too. After Mazeed Ogungbo was fouled inside his own penalty area, we regained possession and looked for a free-kick, but the referee waved play on and former Gunner Sam Greenwood made no mistake on the counter-attack.

It took us less than five minutes to respond, though, as Salah-Eddine picked up a loose pass from the goalkeeper and skipped past his marker, before curling a stunning effort into the top right corner.

Leeds regained their advantage before the break with Max Jimmy Dean providing the finishing touch to another sweeping counter-attack, but once again, we showed incredible character and spirit to bounce back less than 60 seconds after the restart.

Pressing forward in numbers, Folarin Balogun dispossessed a Leeds midfielder and charged into the penalty area, before cutting the ball back for Brooke Norton-Cuffy to fire towards goal. Our No 7’s drilled effort was deflected and spilled behind by the keeper, but Mika Biereth was on hand to ensure to ensure the ball crossed the line.

It was no less than we deserved for our positive, attacking play and shortly after we had a golden chance to take the lead, as Kido Taylor-Hart won a penalty following some outstanding build-up play from Jack Henry-Francis. Captain Balogun stepped up and fired a powerful effort into the bottom left corner for his eighth goal of the PL2 season.

In what was a topsy-turvy game, our youngsters knew that they couldn’t rest on their laurels, and late on we furthered our advantage with an outstanding team move on the break.

Driving forward from deep inside our own half, Tim Akinola carried the ball for more than 30 yards and slipped through Balogun, who lost his marker with a sharp turn before picking out Joel Lopez to provide the finishing touch.

Enjoy match highlights, training and behind the scenes to get closer to the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Vivianne Miedema, Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette, Leah Williamson, Bernd Leno, Emile Smith Rowe, Nikita Parris, Tobin Heath, Mana Iwabuchi, Jordan Nobbs, Bukayo Saka, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kim Little, Gabriel Martinelli, Aaron Ramsdale, Beth Mead, Ben White, Thomas Partey and more.

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