UNDER-21S

Barclays Under-21 Premier League
20 March 2013
Barnet FC, Underhill

ARSENAL 2
(Henderson 43pen, Bellerin 89)

MANCHESTER UNITED 1
(Ekangamene 40)



20/03/2013 20:51, Report by Adam Marshall
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U21s: Arsenal 2 United 1

Manchester United's Under-21s were beaten by Hector Bellerin's late winner despite a resolute defensive display.

Charni Ekangamene's first goal at this level, with the Reds' only noteworthy shot on target, opened the scoring but the home side responded quickly thanks to a Conor Henderson penalty.

A dreadful surface at Underhill did not help either side develop a passing game and the first half was littered with free-kicks. Bellerin was booked for a foul on Jesse Lingard early on and that set the tone for some strong challenges from both sides.

Pierluigi Gollini was equal to a Henderson free-kick but the Reds defended stoutly until Isaac Hayden was allowed a far-post header from a free-kick after he had been involved in a flare-up with Sean McGinty. Thankfully, the Gunners forward nodded wide.

A moment of magic by Ekangamene illuminated proceedings on 40 minutes as the Belgian midfielder rocketed a rasping drive past Emiliano Martinez after Larnell Cole latched onto a Marnick Vermijl pass down the line to pull the ball back to the edge of the area.

The lead was short-lived, however, as the impressive Bellerin was felled by Lingard inside the box and a rather soft penalty was awarded. Up stepped Henderson to hammer his spot-kick straight down the middle after Alexander Büttner, rather than Lingard, was shown a yellow card - presumably for dissent.

Despite the goals, things remained untidy after the interval and Lingard did receive a caution after a reckless tackle on Francis Coquelin, even if the Frenchman made a meal of it. Adnan Januzaj, working his socks off as a lone attacker with little reward, drifted a rare shot well wide before drawing a booking out of Ignasi Miquel when skinning the Spaniard.

At the other end, the excellent Tom Thorpe and substitute Michele Fornasier made masterful tackles on Thomas Eisfeld and

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