Serge Gnabry appeared in an Arsenal shirt for the first time this season but it wasn’t enough to help the Arsenal u21s continue their unbeaten run against Aston Villa.

The German attacking midfielder spent the first half of the campaign on loan at West Bromwich Albion but wasn’t given first team opportunities and returned to Arsenal in January. Unfortunately, there haven’t been opportunities in north London yet either.

That changed on Monday evening, and Gnabry now has to prove his fitness. He did well for the most part, linking up with Donyell Malen and Reiss Nelson at various times to provide a threat. A couple of more solo efforts from the 20-year-old went unrewarded.

Ryan Huddart had made some good saves but couldn’t prevent Aston Villa striker Jerell Sellars from opening the scoring just after the hour mark. Villa have only scored 23 times in 19 games this season, but coming back was always going to be difficult once they went ahead.

A 1-0 defeat marked the end of an eight-game unbeaten run for the side, who hadn’t tasted defeat since losing to Villa in December. The Villains leapfrogged Arsenal in the table as a result, but the Gunners have two games in hand on them and three in hand on league leaders Derby County. The fate of the season remains very much in our own hands.

Arsenal XI: Huddart; Moore, Da Graca, Pleguezuelo, Robinson; McGuane, Crowley; Nelson, Reine-Adelaide, Gnabry; Malen.