Arsenal and Manchester City shared 11 goals between them in last night’s Barclays U21 Premier League action as they triumphed against West Ham United and Blackburn Rovers respectively.
Chuba Akpom’s hat-trick sent the Gunners on their way to a 5-3 win against the Hammers whilst Patrick Vieira’s City side put six past Blackburn without reply.
Steve Gatting would be delighted with his side’s response to their 3-1 defeat to Reading in their U21 Premier League Cup semi-final clash last week and it took them just eight minutes to get on their way with Akpom’s first.
Jordan Brown immediately replied for West Ham as he won the ball on the edge of the area and sent a fierce shot past goalkeeper Deyan Iliev.
Arsenal’s lead was restored when Kris Olsson netted a low drive from outside the area and they went into half-time 2-1 ahead.
Brown netted his second for the visitors just two minutes into the second-half to level things up but Arsenal gained the lead for the third time just minutes later. Dan Potts dragged down Akpom in the area and the England youth international stepped up to convert the penalty himself for his second of the match.
Potts made up for his error on 79 minutes by equalising with a cheeky dip over Iliev but Arsenal would run riot in the final ten minutes.
Zak Ansah netted on his return back from injury and Akpom completed his treble from a tight angle with just seconds on the clock.
The result puts a big dent in West Ham’s hopes of finishing in the top four. They now sit four points clear of Man City, with the Manchester club having a game in hand.
City’s goal difference is certainly better too – enhanced by the goalscoring form of Jordy Hiwula.
His four goals meant City were back to winning ways after losing for the first time in 12 in their last league game against Southampton.
Seko Fofana got Vieira’s side on their way before Hiwula scored his first.
Marcos Lopes extended their lead in the second half followed by Hiwula’s three goals in just six minutes.
His first was a stunning 20-yard volley into the top corner, his second went in off the underside of the crossbar and his third was one-on-one as he showed composure and maturity to net his 16th of the season.
Man City are now 4th in the table, four points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
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