We extended our unbeaten run to eight Premier League 2 fixtures on Friday night as we were held to a 1-1 draw with Swansea City.
We started on the front foot and enjoyed the greater share of possession in the opening stages, but it was the hosts who had the first sight of goal.
Botti Biabi tried his luck from the edge of the box following a powerful run, before watching on as Zech Medley blocked his goal-bound effort.
We regained control of the game and played some intricate football on the edge of the Swansea box, but we couldn’t break them down - and just four minutes before half-time, Brandon Cooper opened the scoring.
Tyler Reid delivered a lofted cross to the back post - forcing a goalmouth scramble - and Cooper was there to finish from inside the six-yard box.
Moments later Biabi had a golden opportunity to double the hosts’ lead, but Deyan Iliev was quick to react and push his drive to safety.
Following the break we increased our attacking intensity and carved open a handful of promising chances. Trae Coyle’s low effort was saved by Steven Benda, before Eddie Nketiah was denied twice in quick succession from inside the area.
Freddie Ljungberg would have been filled with frustration after Ben Sheaf’s powerful header sailed wide of the post, but with just over 10 minutes remaining, we finally found our opening.
Charlie Gilmour, who delivered a dominant performance in the middle of the park, tried his luck from 20 yards and watched on as his drive took a fortunate deflection and trickled into the bottom corner.
It was end-to-end football for the final 10 minutes as both teams pushed for a winner, but neither could carve open one last golden opportunity.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles made his first appearance in Arsenal colours since picking up an injury on the opening day of the season against Manchester City. The 21-year-old played 67 minutes and delivered an assured performance on the right wing.
WHAT IT MEANS
We’ve climbed to the top of the PL2 table - and now sit a single point above second-placed Everton.
We now turn our attention to our PL2 clash with Chelsea on Saturday, November 3. The game will take place at Meadow Park with kick-off at 1pm (UK time).
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