Report – Balogun scores brace as five first-team players feature in 10-man U23s’ 3-3 draw with Manchester United

Premier League 2

Arsenal 3 (Nelson 18, Balogun 64, 70) Manchester United 3 (Puigmal 3, 50, Hugill 56)

Folarin Balogun scored a brace as Arsenal U23s came from 3-1 down to salvage a point against their Manchester United counterparts today.

Steve Bould was able to call upon five members of the first-team squad, with Cedric, William Saliba, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe all starting.

There was also an U23 debut for Alex Kirk, but unfortunately matters didn’t go to plan for the talented centre-back as he was sent off.

Despite Arsenal’s strong starting lineup, it was United who took the lead after just three minutes courtesy of Arnau Puigmal.

Nelson, who will be hoping to feature in the Europa League next week, pulled Arsenal level in the 18th minute.

Smith Rowe, in a pre-planned change, was replaced by Miguel Azeez at half time.

Puigmal restored United’s lead just after the break, with Joe Hugill then proceeding to make it 3-1.

Arsenal introduced Jordan McEneff in place of Jonathan Dinzeyi, but it was Balogun who seized the initiative.

The forward, whose long-term future at the club is still shrouded in uncertainty, reduced the deficit in the 64th minute and added another goal six minutes later as Arsenal equalised.

Arsenal’s hopes of securing victory suffered a significant setback when Kirk was dismissed in the 77th minute for a second bookable offence.

Joel Lopez was brought on for Ryan Alebiosu in the closing stages, but in the end both sides had to settle for a point following an enthralling encounter.

Arsenal: Hein; Saliba, Dinzeyi (McEneff, 64), Kirk; Cedric, Cottrell, Willock, Alebiosu (Lopez, 86); Nelson, Balogun, Smith Rowe (Azeez, 46).

Subs not used: Okonkwo, Akinola.

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