Returning from the international break, Manchester United’s u23s travelled south to face off against Arsenal at Meadow Park.
A tough test was made harder immediately as the highly rated Folarin Balogun struck with a long range effort in the first minute of the match.
After the early wake up call, United got more into the game and it was proving to be an even affair.
Later in the half though, Arsenal started to get on top providing a lot of pressure for United’s backline.
Balogun showed his class again in the 40th minute, getting in behind the defence and hammering an unstoppable shot into the top of the net leaving Dean Henderson no chance.
Arsenal were not done there either as Eddie Nketiah quickly followed up by also darting in behind but this time Henderson’s quick reactions were enough to make the save.
After half time, United came out aggressively and threw around some strong challenges in the middle of the park.
With play largely coming through the left side with Phil Jones and Charlie Savage dictating the tempo from deep, Shola Shoretire was providing some class on the end of their service but had little support in the final third.
Eventually, Shoretire took matters into his own hands and he brilliantly took the ball on the turn and cut in from the left. As he reached the edge of the 18 yard box he curled the ball into the bottom right corner like it was training.
Arsenal responded by peppering United’s goal and almost grabbed a third after latching onto a sloppy pass from Hannibal Mejbri but Dean Henderson performed strongly upon his return from injury.
Another returnee from a long injury, Phil Jones almost grabbed the equaliser for United when he headed onto the crossbar from Mejbri’s corner.
Arsenal ultimately sealed victory in injury time with a wonder goal from Charlie Patino whose mazy run had United’s defenders launching themselves at his legs but they couldn’t stop him before he delicately dinked the ball over the onrushing Henderson.
United: Henderson; Wellens, Jones, Mengi (c), Hardley; Svidersky, Savage; Shoretire (McNeill 75) , Hannibal, Iqbal (Mather 68), Hugill.
Unused substitutes: Vitek, Murray, McShane.