U21 Premier League- Stoke City 1 Arsenal 3
Arsenal U21s took another significant step in their quest for promotion as they overcame their Stoke City counterparts with a 3-1 win despite being reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Dan Crowley.
Stephy Mavididi justified his selection ahead of Donyell Malen by scoring twice, whilst Marcus McGuane marked his first start at this level with a goal.
Da Graca-Bielik-Pleguezuelo-M. Bola
Crowley-Reine Adelaide-C. Willock
Subs: Keto, Malen, Nelson, Eyoma, DaSilva.
Arsenal enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, with Crowley seeing a shot saved before turning provider for Mavididi, who finished with precision.
Stoke threatened to draw level, but Arsenal remained resilient and went into the break with their lead intact.
The hosts were impressive in the opening minutes of the second half, with Matt Macey having to come to Arsenal’s rescue, but the young Gunners doubled their advantage when the alert McGuane capitalised upon some weak defending to make it 2-0.
Crowley was somewhat bizarrely sent off for an incident in the midst of Arsenal’s celebrations following that goal, and Stoke promptly reduced the deficit through Julien N’Goy.
Any doubts that Arsenal had about squandering their advantage didn’t last long, however, with Mavididi making it 3-1 with a neat finish in the closing stages.
Arsenal’s next game is at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday, with Danny Welbeck poised to play some part in that fixture.