West Ham thrash Wilshere’s Arsenal in YC final

West Ham United thrashed Arsenal 5-1 in Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup final at the Emirates Stadium to lift the trophy for the first time since 1999.

West Ham, who also won this season’s Premier League Under-18 South title, recovered from an early deficit as their young starlets ran wild to record an emphatic victory and follow in the footsteps of the ’99 generation led by future England internationals and Premier League winners Joe Cole and Michael Carrick.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Arsenal’s Under-18s were looking to complete an impressive first season under the charge of former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who previously spent two seasons as a player with West Ham. The Gunners were seeking a first trophy in the competition since Wilshere was part of the side that triumphed in 2009.

Wilshere’s side got a dream start when they took the lead after eight minutes. Omari Benjamin found the top corner of the net after Amario Cozier-Duberry had a shot saved from the angle.

But within 11 minutes of going in front, Arsenal found themselves behind as West Ham struck twice in two minutes. First, on 17 minutes, George Earthy got West Ham back on level terms with a perfectly struck shot from the edge of the box that sailed into the net.

A couple of minutes later West Ham were in front thanks to a well-worked team goal. Gideon Kodua supplied an inviting cross from the right and Callum Marshall was on hand six yards out to do the rest with an unstoppable finish.

Three minutes before half-time, West Ham doubled their advantage with the goal of the match. Kodua this time did all the work himself, capitalising on an error from Arsenal’s Josh Robinson in midfield to win possession and launch an audacious chip over goalkeeper Noah Cooper to find the net from fully 40 yards out.

Arsenal had their chances to get back into the game in the second half but instead it was West Ham that added two late goals to make the win a resounding one. Both goals came from corners, with Kaelan Casey supplying the finish to make it 4-1 with 12 minutes remaining and substitute Josh Briggs adding a fifth with his first touch in the 90th minute.