Julio Pleguezuelo scored a late equaliser to earn Arsenal u23s a point against Derby.

An u23 side deprived of some of its best talent played out a topsy-turvy game against Derby in the Premier League 2 on Friday evening.

With Josh Dasilva, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, and Eddie Nketiah away on first team duty, Arsenal fielded a much changed side.

Julio Pleguezuelo captained the side and lined-up with Ben Sheaf and the returning Krystian Bielik in a back three. Tolaji Bola played as the left wing-back, with Jordi Osei-Tutu on the other side. Macus McGuane partnered Jeff Reine-Adelaide in the midfield, while Yassin Fortune and Vlad Dragomir supported Chuba Akpom up front.

After putting Arsenal under early pressure, Derby took the lead through Charles Vernam with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Arsenal worked their way back into the game and found the equaliser 10 minutes later when Chuba Akpom poached in a rebounded Sheaf shot. Unfortunately, Arsenal’s backline was proving to be quite leaky, and conceded to Mason Bennett on the stroke of half-time.

Alex Babos put Derby 3-1 up in the second half. With Reine-Adelaide and Bielik going off with new injury concerns, Arsenal looked like they were in trouble.

A goal from Osei-Tutu, his second in as many games, gave Arsenal a lifeline.

They chased the equaliser for the final ten minutes and, with only stoppage time remaining, found it through captain Pleguezuelo. The game ended 3-3.

The draw leaves Arsenal third in the Premier League 2, seven points behind leaders Liverpool.

Both Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Krystian Bielik had to be replaced after picking up fresh injuries.