The Arsenal u21s’ EFL Trophy run came to a disappointing end on Tuesday night, as Wigan eliminated them at the quarter-final stage.

Charlie Patino playing for the Arsenal u21s (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)
Charlie Patino playing for the Arsenal u21s (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)

After knocking out Chelsea in convincing fashion to become the final u21 team in the competition, Arsenal travelled away to Wigan for the EFL Trophy quarter-final on Tuesday night.

Kevin Betsy had a relatively strong team available to him, with many of the u23s who were in the first-team squad on Sunday dropping back down to play the match.

That list included Charlie Patino, Omari Hutchinson, Mika Biereth, and Salah-Eddine Oulad M’hand, but not Ryan Alebiosu, who was absent from the squad.

With a good side available, Arsenal made the stronger start, with Salah-Eddine hitting the crossbar with a curling effort from outside the box. Biereth and Hutchinson also had shots saved in a strong opening half of the match.

But after a possible knock, Patino was taken off at half-time, which also meant a change of system as defender Reuell Walters entered the fray.

Wigan started to have chances of their own, and it took some excellent defending from Zach Awe to deny them on one occasion.

But the hosts got their goal in a disappointing fashion, with one relatively aimless long ball finding Divin Baningime as the Arsenal defence hesitated – because another Wigan attacker was clearly offside.

Baningime was onside, and he tucked away the opening goal of the game. With so little time remaining, it turned out to be the winning goal.

Arsenal u21 lineup vs Wigan

Ejeheri, Kirk, Awe, Ogungbo, Swanson, Patino, Henry-Francis, Lopez, Hutchinson, Oulad M’hand, Biereth


Graczyk, Butler-Oyedeji, Cozier-Duberry, Edwards (for Kirk, 89), Ibrahim, Ideho (for Henry-Francis, 66), Walters (for Patino, 46)

What’s next?

The Arsenal u23s return to action in the Premier League 2 with a home game against Chelsea on February 4th at 19:00 GMT.