Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nketiah's Short Story with Chelsea Takes a Giant Twist; / in Association With

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nketiah's Short Story with Chelsea Takes a Giant Twist; / in Association With

Article excerpt

ARSENAL 2 NORWICH CITY 1 (after extra time)

THE irony of a player released at Under-14 level for being too short scoring a winning goal in a cup tie with a towering header while still a teenager will not be lost on Eddie Nketiah, writes James Olley.

He will feel 10 feet tall today. Chants of "Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!" rang around Emirates Stadium after a captivating cameo from the 5ft 8in former Chelsea junior player which transformed the Carabao Cup result and also the atmosphere in Arsenal's favour.

The Gunners were 1-0 down with five minutes to go against a Norwich side who should have been further ahead, while Mohamed Elneny was extremely fortunate not to have been sent off for hauling back Nelson Oliveira.

It appeared manager Arsene Wenger had left himself with no back-up plan, naming a bench with just 16 senior appearances between them, 10 of which belonged to Chuba Akpom.

But 15 seconds into his second ever outing and just five minutes from time, Nketiah was in the right place to turn the ball home from a corner, and those disgruntled supporters who had begun to vent familiar fury had a new hero.

He then scored again six minutes into extra time to turn the game on its head and make his story all the more implausible. "Give it to Eddie!" fans located around the press box cried.

Before the game had even finished, some opportune soul had changed Nketiah's Wikipedia page to include the line: "He is widely considered the best player of all time."

The 18-year-old himself described it as a dream come true. "I'm delighted to get two goals and win the match for the team," he said.

"I'm very thankful to the boss for giving me that opportunity to come on and show what I can do. I'm really happy the fans welcomed me into the team like that, and to hear your name at such a young age is a dream come true. Hopefully it is the first of many. "I came on there with full focus to help the team win. …

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