By Lloyd Webb at Motspur Park
Arsenal Under-21s maintained their unbeaten run with an encouraging 3-0 win against Fulham on Wednesday night. Kaylen Hinds opened the scoring before Marc Bola’s first goal of the season doubled the Gunners’ advantage. Stephy Mavididi sealed the win minutes before the break to make it seven games without defeat for Steve Gatting’s side.
Setting the scene
Gatting made four changes to his side for the trip across London.
Fresh from his goal in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final against Liverpool, Mavididi replaced Donyell Malen up front. Kris Da Graca and Krystian Bielik were selected in defence, while Ismael Bennacer partnered Ben Sheaf in midfield.
Despite the torrential rain, the Gunners started brightly and peppered Marcus Bettinelli’s goal with efforts from Sheaf and Bennacer. It seemed only a matter of time before the visitors would hit the target and it came in the 19th minute, courtesy of Hinds’ low drive into the bottom corner from inside the box. Bola's surges forward from full back was a feature of the first half, and it paid off soon after after the opener when he claimed his first goal of the campaign with a thunderous 25-yard strike. An encouraging first half finished on a high note when Hinds’ clever ball to the back post found Mavididi, and the striker made no mistake from a few yards out.
The Gunners made a sluggish start after the interval and Cauley Woodrow almost made them pay when he cut inside and grazed the post with a firm shot. Zakaria Labyad was next to question Arsenal’s defence when he escaped Bielik's attentions but squandered a golden opportunity from a few yards out. Mavididi almost extended the visitors’ advantage minutes from the final whistle when his effort from outside the box was well saved. Arsenal eased to the win, which moves two points off league leaders Derby County with three games in hand.
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