Arsenal youngsters, Miguel Azeez and Nathan-Butler Oyedeji were impressive in the under-18 squad’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, while Folarin Balogun starred for The Gunners’ under-23 squad in a 3-1 loss to Chelsea, who did not dress Tariq Uwakwe and Faustino Anjorin for The Blues’ home encounter, megasportsarena.com gathered.
While Balogun marked the afternoon with an assist in defeat with Arsenal’s U23s, Azeez set up Oyedeji to net twice for their team, but they were denied all three points at the death by Spurs’ new Nigerian-born revelation, Kion Etete.
It was the first time Oyedeji would score for the squad, but he did so in style, as he scored twice, first just before half time, when he cut inside and curled past Tottenham’s goalkeeper, Thimotee Lo-Tutala, then sealed his brace in the 68th minute, following a cross from Azeez.
However, Oyedeji’s joy was cut short and limited at the end, as Bennett and Etete orchestrated the comeback for the visitors to ensure points were shared in Hertfordshire, 24 hours after Balogun was impressive for Arsenal U23s, but could not save them from a 3-1 loss to Chelsea.
Balogun got his eighth appearance this season in the English Premier League 2, while Nigerian-born defender, Tolaji Bola started for the sixth time, but their compatriots, Joseph Olowu and Tobi Omole were on The Gunners’ bench, but Uwakwe was missing from Chelsea’s squad, due to fitness issues.
The talented midfielder is still recuperating from an injury he copped two months ago, which saw him last play in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham August 30, abut missed all of The Blues’ games in September – against Brighton, Southampton and Leicester City.
The London-born lad, who played all four of his side’s games prior to his spell on the sidelines, has played at youth team levels for England, with appearances for the country’s U18, U19 and U20 teams in friendly matches, but is still eligible to star for Nigeria.
In Uwakwe’s absence, Chelsea made the best of home advantage to go 2-0 up in the opening 31 minutes, Balogun’s effort was parried by Chelsea goalkeeper, Jamie Cummings and Ben Cottrell hit home the rebound to halve the deficit just before half time.
Arsenal almost grabbed the equaliser after Balogun fed Trae Coyle but his effort was kept out and centre referee Andrew Myers would soon wave away the visitors penalty shouts after the Nigerian-born striker went down in the opposition box following a goalkeeper challenge.
The result brought to an end a staggering run of 16 unbeaten games for The Gunners’ U23s, stretching back to December 2018, when they last lost to Blackburn Rovers, thereby taking them down to fourth on the log and will hope to get back to winning ways on the road to Manchester City next Saturday.