Arsenal u23s slipped to a surprising defeat to Brighton on Friday, finishing the game with 10 men after Robbie Burton picked up two yellow cards.

Steve Bould coaching the Arsenal u23s in a match against Derby County (Photo via Twitter / ArsenalAcademy)

Arsenal u23s had the chance to go top of the table with a win or a draw away to Brighton on Friday, and they started the match pretty well.

The Gunners had a few chances in the first half. Zech Medley heading over and Tyreece John-Jules going close with a bicycle kick. A deflected Nathan Tormey shot went closest, requiring an excellent save.

Robbie Burton picked up a yellow card for an off-the-ball argument, but generally, things went well. Steve Bould’s side had most of the possession and control over the match. It seemed only a matter of time until they took advantage.

Peter Gwargis then gave Arsenal a warning just before the break, hitting the post with a dangerous effort. It was a warning the u23s didn’t heed, as Gwargis scored from range with a curling effort a few minutes into the second half for 1-0.

The referee then sent Burton off for a second yellow after a foul. Burton regularly picks up bookings for tactical fouls, which makes it foolish of him to get involved in a pointless first-half scuffle away from the play. It left him at risk for the rest of the game.

Medley hit the post with a header and the referee waved away an Arsenal penalty claim for handball as they pushed for an equaliser. Folarin Balogun returned from injury to come off the bench for the last five minutes, but it was too late.

Balogun’s return is certainly a boost to the side though. Despite spending a month and a half out with injury, he’s still the top scorer and the joint-top assister for Arsenal. We may see more of him against Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.

Lineup: Macey; Olowu, McGuinness, Medley, Bola; Burton, M. Smith; Coyle, Olayinka, Tormey; John Jules.

Subs: Balogun (for Coyle, 85), Cottrell (for Tormey, 85), McEneff (for Olowu, 90).

Unused subs: Hillson, Omole.