Barazite dazzles as reserves see off Pompey

Nacer Barazite capped a dazzling display with a stunning strike to give our reserves a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Pompey at Havant’s Westleigh Park.

Dutch attacker Barazite, back from a loan spell at Championship side Derby County, was in commanding form for a youthful Arsenal side in a one-sided game for Neil Banfield’s side.

He hit a first-half pile-driver to add to Chuks Aneke’s opener with Jernade Meade grabbing the third.

Arsenal keeper James Shea didn’t have a shot to save against a home side with plenty of enthusiasm but little guile.

Connor Henderson occupied a central midfield berth in front of about 150 paying customers just a day after being on the bench for the first team in the 3-2 defeat at Wigan.

Arsenal dominated from the off and Benik Afobe was inches from giving the young Gunners the lead after ten minutes but Pompey keeper Liam O’Brien smothered just as it looked certain we would take a 1-0 advantage.

Aneke did just that when he hit his wonder goal just five minutes later with an unstopable drive from well outside the box.

Arsenal looked lively on the ball and enjoyed long spells of possession but chances on goal were few and far between and it wasn’t until the half hour that Barazite tested O’Brien with a decent effort after a mazy run.

And two minutes later he had another crack at goal but this time he couldn’t hit the target.

But he did hit the back of the net with a 25-yard power drive just five minutes before the break to make it 2-0.

Luke Freeman, a £500,000 buy from Gillingham yet to impress,  started the second half in lively fashion and almost added a third soon after the re-start but his shot looped wide.

Second-half sub Jernade Meade made it 3-0 with five minutes to go after a superb through ball from Barazite left him clean on goal and he thundered home from six yards.

Arsenal – Shea, Hajrovic, Evina, Yennaris, Boetang, Miquel, Barazite, Aneke, Afobe, Henderson, Freeman.

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