Arsenal teen thrills fans with amazing show

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Old 30-Sep-2011
Arsenal teen thrills fans with amazing show

London: Teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain offered Arsenal fans a glimpse of a bright future as he became the club's youngest English goalscorer in the Champions League on Wednesday, netting the opener in his side's nervy 2-1 Group F victory over Olympiakos.

Signed for a reported 12 million (Dh69.6 million) from Southampton in August the 18-year-old is already being compared to Theo Walcott who followed the same route to north London in 2006.

England winger Walcott was one of a number of Arsenal players absent through injury on a balmy night at the Emirates Stadium but Oxlade-Chamberlain made the most of his first appearance in the Champions League, firing the opener after eight minutes.

The visitors had 15 goal attempts compared to the home side's 10 and Arsenal's coach Pat Rice, patrolling the technical area in the absence of manager Arsene Wenger who was completing his Uefa touchline ban, admitted his relief.

"They came and waited for us and broke us up in the middle of the park and in fairness you have to say they did well," Arsenal's long-serving No 2 told reporters. "Needless to say we are very happy with the three points."

Rice said Oxlade-Chamberlain's performance had been one of the major plus points and was cause for comfort among the north London club's fans who have watched Arsenal's worst start in the Premier League in the reign of Wenger. "He is a very strong boy and listens to what people say," Rice said. "Arsenal fans are going to see a lot of this boy but he has a very strong challenge trying to get in front of Theo." Oxlade-Chamberlain was the only English starter for Arsenal who had 11 different nationalities represented in their line-up.

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