After the frustration of their 6-1 defeat away to West Ham United in their opening fixture, Arsenal U23s bounced back in impressive fashion last night with a 4-2 victory at home to Crystal Palace.
Recently-appointed coach Kevin Betsy secured the first victory of his tenure, with Omari Hutchinson to the fore with an outstanding first half display. Hutchinson, who featured for the first-team in pre-season, scored two goals, with the first being of a particularly high standard as he burst forward prior to finding the net.
Striker Mika Biereth, who signed from Fulham, made an impact with a goal and assist, while Zak Swanson was also on the scoresheet late on.
Palace played the second half with ten men after Scott Banks was sent off towards the end of the first half, while Miguel Azeez also missed a penalty for Arsenal in what was a rather entertaining encounter.
Some of Arsenal’s play on the counter-attack was of a particularly high standard, even after Hutchinson was substituted at half time due to being on a yellow card.
Midfielder Charlie Patino became increasingly influential as the game progressed and played some excellent passes, although there remained some concerns defensively and Betsy will be a little alarmed that his team have conceded eight goals in two games.
The performance against Palace was definitely a significant improvement, however, and will give Arsenal something to build upon going into next week’s game away to Tottenham Hotspur.