Having prevailed in tough conditions against the odds on Monday evening, Arsenal u21 manager Steve Gatting has praised his side’s performance in the away victory over league leaders Derby County.

Goals from Stephy Mavididi and Kaylen Hinds either side of the half-time interval helped to close the gap at the top of the table to two points, despite having to play the full second half with 10 men following Ben Sheaf’s dismissal.

Kaylen Hinds (far right) applies the finishing touch to score the winner in the second-half. | Image: Getty
Kaylen Hinds (right) applies the finishing touch to score the winner in the second-half – his 5th goal of the league campaign. | Picture source: Getty

Gatting, who has been a youth team coach at the club since 2007, said the team’s hard-working display ensured they were worthy winners at the iPro Stadium.

Speaking to Arsenal Player, Gatting said he was “very proud” of the youngsters, who “deserve a lot of credit”.

Having lost Sheaf in surprising fashion, Gatting said it’s always difficult, but the Young Guns’ mindset changed in a positive way as they “went out to get the goal that won the game.

“I thought some of the referee’s decisions went against the boys, but they kept going and showed a lot of character at the end.”

We still have Swansea to play on Thursday, as well as West Brom next Monday, but the table looks encouraging as it stands near the top.

 | Image: Premier League's official website
Arsenal only need a win from the final two fixtures to seal automatic promotion, avoiding the dreaded play-off | Image: Premier League’s official website

The 2-1 victory was Derby’s final fixture of the campaign, so they’ll be nervously waiting to see whether they’ve done enough to avoid a potential play-off to secure their place in Division 1 ahead of next season.

The win will certainly boost spirits within the team, who beat Newcastle on Friday afternoon at the Emirates. Having narrowly lost twice against Aston Villa and Blackburn in recent weeks, who are both in contention for play-off places, the win was a big one and there’s definitely plenty still to play for.