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Reading U21 0-1 Arsenal U21: match report

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Arsenal's U21s got off on the right foot with a win to start their season.

this clearly wasn't from today
this clearly wasn't from today
Jeff Zelevansky

Arsenal U21 XI: Macey; Moore, Ajayi, Miquel, Ormonde-Ottewill; Hayden, Olsson; Maitland-Niles, Zelalem, Crowley; Akpom

0-1 Chuba Akpom 15' (pen)

If Arsenal scores more goals than their opponent in a match, but the match had no live stream or television coverage (thanks a lot, Arsenal Player, for leading me on), is it still a win? You bet it is!

Arsenal came out on top thanks to a Chuba Akpom penalty kick in the fifteenth minute. With Jon Toral and Thomas Eisfeld not in the squad due to their loan and permanent moves, respectively, Gedion Zelalem was allowed to feature higher up on the pitch than he was able to last season for the U21s. He and his attacking mates, Daniel Crowley and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, all created moments of real danger for Akpom to pounce on, but he was not able to beat the Reading keeper from open play. Isaac Hayden also created a chance for Akpom late in the match.

Andreis Jonker, newly minted head of Arsenal's Academy, and Steve Gatting, U21 coach, have to be pleased that the squad got a clean sheet after all of the defensive troubles last season. That was aided by the presence of experienced veteran, at least by youth standards, Ignasi Miquel.

Though Akpom is likely in line for another loan spell, a small part of me wants the ferocious foursome of Zelalem, Crowley, Maitland-Niles and Akpom to gain chemistry together as each plans an assault on Wenger's future first-team plans.

Arsenal U21 is first in the English U21 Premier League Division 2 table after the victory, tied with Derby U21, who defeated Middlesbrough U21 2-1 today.

Check this site for more in-depth analysis on this match when (if?) match footage is made available.