Arsenal’s Reserves have kicked off their Platinum One Challenge campaign with a 2-1 win over their Manchester United counterparts at the Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. An early Jay Emmanuel-Thomas penalty got the Gunners going before Wellington Silva scored a fine solo goal in the second half. Kiko Macheda set up a tight finish with his 71st minute strike.
Liam Brady selected a strong Arsenal team which included first-team players Havard Nordtveit, Henri Lansbury and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. However, he did lose two options from his squad, with Emmanuel Frimpong pulling out with an injury and Jay Simpson staying behind to complete his move to Hull City. Wellington Silva started on the right of a dangerous looking front three.
Nordtveit – Hoyte – Miquel – Cruise
Aneke – Eastmond – Lansbury
Silva – Afobe – Emmanuel-Thomas
Subs: Martínez, Boateng, Yennaris, Evina, Deacon.
Arsenal snapped out of the traps and went straight at Manchester United. Within three minutes the first chance came as Emmanuel-Thomas slipped Henri Lansbury in on goal, but Amos saved well. Lansbury then curled a free kick into Amos’ arms in a quick succession of chances.
Macheda and Aneke then exchanged long range efforts which were both wide before the Gunners snatched the lead from the spot following a clumsy foul by Wooton. Emmanuel-Thomas sent Amos the wrong way from 12 yards, Arsenal 1-0.
United were getting out played by Arsenal but they did have a chance to get back into it when Norwood tried his luck from Cleverley’s corner, but it was straight at Shea. Emmanuel-Thomas was then at the heart of two amazing chances on the half hour mark. First he tried to chip Amos who clawed the ball away, then he fed Eastmond who put Afobe through, but Amos saved again.
The final chance of the first half fell to Afobe again who had his shot stabbed away by Amos’ feet’s after being released by Silva. Half time and Arsenal in front.
Half Time – Arsenal 1-0 Manchester United
The Gunners came out for the second half looking to double their advantage. Five minutes after the restart, they did. Wellington Silva burst inside the United back four from the right, they tried to catch him but couldn’t, and Silva thrashed the ball beyondAmos with a confident finish. 2-0.
United were being comfortably outplayed but on the break they were always dangerous. Brady should have scored after getting away from Cruise, but he fired over. With 20 minutes left, Manchester United did get their goal. Kiko Macheda raced away from the back four and had his powerful shot spilled by Shea. The Italian made no mistakes with the re-bound, making it 2-1.
It was completely against the run of play, and Arsenal wanted to put the scoreline right. Emmanuel-Thomas paced the back four again, but he lost his concentration and could only find back of the stand, not Amos’ net. Afobe should have righted Jay’s wrong, but despite beating his defender and the goalkeeper, he lashed wide.
Yennaris replaced Afobe with 10 minutes left as the Gunners looked to shut up shop. Vermeijl did try and trouble the defence with a Rory Delap style long throw, but the excellent Nordtveit was bullish and cleared. It was a clearance which epitomized the confidence Arsenal had shown.
They stroked the ball around at the back to run the clock down, and it worked. Arsenal comfortable and classy 2-1 winners.