Arsenal secured their place in the fifth round of the EFL Cup with a 2-0 victory at home to Reading tonight, with several youngsters receiving run-outs.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles played the whole game in central midfield, whilst Chris Willock and Gedion Zelalem featured as substitutes, with Matt Macey, Krystian Bielik, Ben Sheaf and Marc Bola all being named on the bench, the latter receiving his first call-up.
This wasn’t a straightforward victory for Arsenal, with Reading causing problems at times, but the Gunners were able to prevail courtesy of a brace from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide showed some glimpses of his potential before being withdrawn in the second half, although Maitland-Niles wasn’t at his best.
Willock helped out defensively following his introduction before over-hitting a cross, while Zelalem played some neat passes in midfield, suggesting that he warrants further first-team game time.
Arsenal lacked cohesion at times tonight, which wasn’t entirely unexpected given that many of the players on show haven’t played regularly this season. Carl Jenkinson made his return at right-back, whilst Kieran Gibbs captained the side and Olivier Giroud featured as a substitute.