HIGHLIGHTS | Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur (2-1) | U23 | North London derby victory
We had to dig deep to claim all three points against Tottenham in a closely-fought north London derby on Friday night.
Kevin Betsy’s starting XI was boosted by the return of James Olayinka for his first appearance since January 11, and our wing-back looked sharp in the opening exchanges.
Olayinka combined well with Omari Hutchinson to create the game’s first real chance, with the latter stinging the palms of Josh Oluwayemi after cutting in from the left.
We continued to dominate and took the lead through Marcelo Flores, Mika Biereth snatching the ball off Matthew Craig in the build-up and squaring it for our Mexican playmaker to tap home into an empty net.
We doubled our lead midway through the half with Flores turning provider this time, firing a low cross towards the near post where Tobi Omole, under pressure from the lurking Biereth, could only deflect the ball into his own net.
That own goal seemed to spark Tottenham into life as they took control of proceedings and dominated the remainder of the half.
Our north London rivals pulled one back through Alfie Devine, who made no mistake with his side-footed finish low into the corner past Hubert Graczyk.
We struggled to get going after the restart as the visitors pinned us back for much of the second half, while Graczyk was forced into a series of remarkable stops.
The pick of the bunch was an outstanding point-blank save to keep out Dane Scarlett’s strike, while one effort – from J’Neil Bennett’s header – also had the crowd on their feet.
Alex Kirk typified our fighting spirit with a brilliant goalline clearance to deny Devine, as we held firm to claim a hard-fought three points over our north London rivals.
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