Football

Martin Keown compares Arsenal's Reiss Nelson to Neymar after skill vs BATE

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A few eyebrows were raised when Arsene Wenger fielded a number of inexperienced youngsters against BATE in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Rob Holding, Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Chris Willock all started for Arsenal, who still ran out comfortable(ish) 4-2 winners.

Theo Walcott gave his side a 2-0 lead inside 22 minutes before Holding headed home from a corner to make it three.

BATE then gave themselves a lifeline through Mirko Ivanic in the 28th minute, although David Ospina should have dealt with the header much better.

Four minutes into the second period and Arsenal extended their lead to 4-1 when Skhodran Mustafi was awarded a penalty, which Olivier Giroud converted.

That was the Frenchman's 100th goal for Arsenal in 233 games, meaning he reached the milestone one game quicker than Robin van Persie (234).

Sloppy defending once again saw Wenger's men concede in the 67th minute, but they held on to make it two wins out of two in the Europa League.

It was Jack Wilshere who stole headlines with his performance against BATE. He created Walcott's opener with a sublime run and dominated in midfield throughout.

However, there was one more player who seriously impressed in Belarus: Nelson.

The 17-year-old is a forward by trade but started in the unusual position of right-wing back, where he was a constant threat and defended valiantly.

Quick, skilful and composed, Nelson has the makings of a future superstar.

There was one moment in the game that encapsulated his talents, when he made one of BATE's players look utterly silly with a nonchalant piece of skill.

In the following video, Nelson picks up the ball, produces a stepover and then glides past his opponent to leave him on the deck. Check it out.

"TOUCHES YOU ASSOCIATE WITH NEYMAR"

Nelson's skill and overall display drew particular praise from Arsenal legend Martin Keown, who lauded the teenager on BT Sport by comparing him to Neymar no less.

"These are the touches you associate with Neymar," said Keown. Check out a small highlights reel of Nelson's display - and Keown's comments - below.

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Topics:
Europa League
Arsene Wenger
Football
Thierry Henry
Jack Wilshere

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