*Fires warning to Chipolopolo as Eagles regroup in Uyo
By Duro Ikhazuagbe with agency report
Ahead of his arrival in Nigeria today for Saturday’s World Cup 2018 qualifier against Zambia in Uyo, Alex Iwobi, yesterday scored Arsenal’s second goal in the 2-0 defeat of Brighton at the Emirates Stadium.
The goal which is Iwobi’s first this season for the Gunners is clear warning signal to the Chipolopolo that he’s back for real for both club and country.
Nacho Monreal had put Arsenal ahead early on when he shot through a crowded penalty area after Brighton had failed to clear a free-kick.
Shortly after the victory which came on Arsene Wenger’s 21st anniversary of his arrival in London, Iwobi took to Twitter to describe his goal as fitting on the day Nigeria is celebrating her 57th Independence Day.
He also praised Alexis Sanchez who set him up with a back-heeled assist.
“Three Points, Clean Sheet And A Goal Perfect Way To Celebrate Independence Day #BIG17,” Iwobi gleefully tweeted yesterday.
“It was a great team play. I didn’t think Alexis would find me but it shows the skill he has,” stressed the Gunners forward to BBC Sports.
“He (Sanchez) is capable of doing anything. To have eyes in the back of his head and back-heel to me was amazing.”
Iwobi added that Arsenal made the 2-0 win over Brighton look so easy.
“I wouldn’t say it was comfortable but we made it as easy as we could. It is always good to win the game and come away with a clean sheet,” Iwobi also told BT Sport in another chat.
Iwobi who is back in the Super Eagles after missing the two matches against Cameroon Nigeria’s last month is back in the squad to face Zambia in the Russia 2018 qualifier.
He is expected along side his other colleagues from the European leagues to arrive at the Super Eagles camp in Uyo today.
Another Eagles invitee, Anthony Nwakaeme was also on target in Hapoel Beer Sheva’s Europa Cup 3-1 away defeat to Viktoria Plzen of Czech Republic in the UEFA Europa last Thursday night.
A win for Eagles on ten points will effectively seal qualification to Russia 2018 for Nigeria with one game to spare. Zambia on seven points on the other hand is hoping to upstage Nigeria following the back-to-back victories against Algeria.