Arsenal u23s picked up their first defeat of the season against Liverpool, despite Nelson’s opener early in the first half.
Arsenal changed their formation from the previous match against Manchester City, this time utilising a 4-2-3-1 similar to senior Arsenal sides in the past, reports Arsenal.com.
Hugo Keto replaced Matt Macey as goalkeeper, and had a promising performance, making a few good saves throughout the match, despite eventually conceding two in the final 20 minutes.
Jordi Osei-Tutu and Marcus McGuane came into the team in defence. McGuane has been linked with moves to multiple clubs in the past few days, so it’s no surprise to see him get into the team. The Gunners would do well to keep him happy for any contract negotiations, since McGuane is now in the final year of his deal.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Chuba Akpom joined the team in more attacking positions. This was Akpom’s first competitive academy match of the season, and he struggled to get involved on the night. Reine-Adelaide had some promising touches throughout the match.
With the scores still level after a close first 45 minutes Arsenal managed to make the breakthrough. Nelson made a great run, catching the Liverpool defence out, and chipped the ball over the goalkeeper for the lead, assisted by the other in-form forward at u23 level, Eddie Nketiah.
However, two very good goals from Rhian Brewster and Sam Hart, who scored from a free kick in the dying minutes, meant Liverpool took all three points back home.
The makeshift nature of the defence ended up causing the Gunners too many problems in the end, even with Keto’s good performance keeping the score low.
Regardless, it is encouraging to see Nketiah and Nelson keep up their good form as the Carabao Cup game approaches.