By Connor Armstrong
Arsenal Under-23s were unfortunate to be beaten 1-0 by Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village on Monday night.
RoShaun Williams put the hosts in front after just eight minutes, converting from close range after a corner had been flicked on.
Hugo Keto made a series of impressive saves to keep the score at 1-0, while the Gunners went in search of an equaliser.
Both Marcus McGuane and Ismael Bennacer took aim late on, with Eddie Nketiah repeatedly kept out by the Manchester United defence as the hosts held on.
SETTING THE SCENE
With a Premier League 2 fixture once again coming the day before an EFL Cup tie, Steve Gatting was without a handful of regulars.
Keto started in goal, with Kostas Pileas partnering Kris Da Graca in defence. Chiori Johnson continued at right back, while Josh Dasilva operated at left back.
Bennacer paired up with McGuane in central midfield, with Vlad Dragomir, Kaylen Hinds and Savvas Mourgos behind Nketiah.
Arsenal Under-23s would’ve been hoping to keep things tight in the early stages, but were undone by Williams' goal in the opening 10 minutes.
A looping corner was flicked on by Regan Poole, enabling Williams to poke home at the far post.
The hosts rode their luck at times, with Nketiah and Dragomir both looking to unlock the United defence.
Matty Willock - brother of Arsenal duo Chris and Joe Willock - looked threatening on the break for the visitors, but was well-marshalled by the Gunners' midfield.
Arsenal goalkeeper Keto had to be at his best in the opening 20 minutes of the second period, making a string of fine saves.
First he denied Josh Harrop after he motored through midfield before taking aim, then later thwarting Devonte Redmond and Joe Riley.
The Gunners twice went close late on as they continue to pile the pressure on the hosts, with McGuane seeing a shot deflect behind.
With the seconds ebbing away, Bennacer tried his luck from just outside the area but his shot whistled over as time ran out on Gatting’s side.
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