Goals from Tim Akinola, Omari Hutchinson and Folarin Balogun helped Arsenal recover from 3-0 down to secure a point against Leicester and stay top of the Premier League 2
Arsenal U23s scored three goals in stoppage time to snatch a 3-3 Premier League 2 draw against Leicester, completing a remarkable comeback.
The Gunners were set for a big defeat the Arsenal Training Centre but late goals from Tim Akinola, Omari Hutchinson and Folarin Balogun saved the day.
All six goals came in the final 30 minutes of the PL2 fixture, with striker Terell Pennant opening the scoring for the visitors on the hour mark.
Midfielder Tawanda Maswanhise then doubled Leicester’s lead before defender Ben Nelson seemingly finished the game with 13 minutes remaining.
The hosts didn’t give up, however, as midfielder Akinola – playing at centre-back – made it 3-1 in the 91st minute.
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Akinola has recently been training with the Arsenal first-team and is said to have impressed manager Mikel Arteta with his attitude.
Thomas Partey was reportedly furious with the youngster for flying into a 50/50 challenge but later told him he was the strongest player he’d ever played with.
Substitute Hutchinson pulled another another goal back for Arsenal in the 93rd minute, giving them a glimmer of hope of salvaging a point.
The attacking midfielder is also thought to have impressed Arteta in first team training and scored on his professional debut in last month’s 4-3 EFL Trophy victory against Newport.
Arsenal then completed their comeback against Leicester in the 96th minute, when Balogun popped up to score the equaliser.
The American-born striker is one of the club’s hottest prospects and led the line for Arteta’s side in their Premier League defeat at Brentford in August.
Balogun also scored twice in last season’s Europa League against Norwegian outfit Molde and Irish club Dundalk.
After the player signed a new contract in April, Arteta said: “We have been extremely impressed with Flo this season.
“He has continually shown his natural ability in many training sessions with us and we have been equally impressed with his early integration into the first-team squad on matchdays.
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“He has given us glimpses with the performances and of course with his two goals already for the first team.
“The hard work starts here for Flo and we are all looking forward to supporting and working with him in the years to come.”
And just to add to the drama, the Gunners reportedly ended the game with striker Mika Biereth in goal after Estonian stopper Karl Hein suffered an injury late on.
Arsenal’s dramatic draw against Leicester leaves their U23 team top of the PL2, one point clear of West Ham in second.
Gunners fans on social media were delighted with the youngsters’ efforts, with one tweeting: “How is this even possible? Wow, well done boys.”
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While another supporter wrote: “Good to see there’s a mentality of not giving up across all of our teams.”
And one fan tweeted: “Amazing! To comeback from three goals down is one thing, but to do it in added time is incredible.”
Arsenal’s next PL2 fixture is away to Blackburn on November 22, with a Premier League Cup game against West Brom taking place on November 11.
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