By Lloyd Webb at iPro Stadium
Ten-man Arsenal closed the gap on league leaders Derby County to two points with a hard-fought victory on Monday night, despite Ben Sheaf’s sending off.
Stephy Mavididi gave the Gunners the lead in the 15th minute when he skipped past his defender and chipped the ball into the back of the net.
Charles Vernam equalised when he pounced in the box, before Sheaf was given a second yellow card for arguing with the referee, leaving the visitors with an uphill task.
Arsenal withstood heavy pressure in the second half, but secured a vital victory when Hinds crashed a shot in off the bar.
Setting the scene
Steve Gatting made four changes to his side following their 3-1 win against Newcastle United.
Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Serge Gnabry were replaced by Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Reiss Nelson and Chris Willock, while Chiori Johnson was also included.
Derby gave Arsenal a early taste of the test ahead of them as Callum Guy and Kellan Gordon squandered decent chances.
Despite their shaky start, the Gunners took the lead after quarter of an hour when Mavididi beat his marker and flicked the ball past Jonathan Mitchell.
Nelson then forced Mitchell into a good save from outside the box before the hosts equalised as Vernam poked home.
There was more drama before the break, as Sheaf received his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Things could have got worse for Arsenal shortly after the restart, but Matt Macey produced a fine reaction save to prevent Will Hughes from finding the bottom corner.
Gatting’s side were indebted to the goalkeeper again 10 minutes later, when the 21-year-old clawed away Farrend Rawson’s close-range header.
The Gunners came under heavy pressure, but claimed the winner from a quick counter-attack when Hinds fired in off the bar following Dan Crowley’s pinpoint pass.
Kyron Stabana and Guy came close to equalising for the Rams late on, but Arsenal held firm.
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