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The Under-23s in action at Arsenal.

Under-23s match report: Arsenal 4 United 0

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Manchester United’s Under-23s were overpowered by a strong Arsenal side on a bitterly cold night at Boreham Wood.

Goals from Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Vlad Dragomir and Eddie Nketiah (two) saw off Ricky Sbragia's young Reds who are still looking for a first win of 2018.

It was the Gunners who produced the first effort of the match when Joe Willock tried his luck from distance, but United goalkeeper Theo Richardson watched it go wide of his left-hand post. Reine-Adelaide then wriggled through the visitors' ranks before feeding Nketiah, who could only produce a tame shot.

Arsenal had made the brighter start and they reflected that when Nketiah set up Reine-Adelaide to slot the ball into the bottom left corner. Reine-Adelaide then threatened the Reds twice more, but Richardson produced a fine save before the young Gunner struck a shot wide.

United looked to respond to going a goal down, although they had little to show for their increased possession and the hosts would have doubled their advantage had Nketiah’s spectacular attempt not drifted wide.

Sbragia's men ended the first forty-five on a positive note as Josh Bohui unleashed the Reds’ first shot on target just before the break, but Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Macey got himself behind it to make a comfortable save.
Angel Gomes in action against Arsenal Under-23s.
Academy prospect Angel Gomes made his first start for the Under-23s at Arsenal on Monday night
The Reds carried that momentum into the second half and were unlucky not to be level when Matthew Olosunde pulled the ball back to Indy Boonen, who saw his deflected shot drop just the wrong side of the post.

Despite the positive start to the half, Arsenal doubled their advantage on the hour mark when a neat move saw Vlad Dragomir close in on goal to stroke home for the Gunners.

Undeterred by the scoreline, United tried hard to get back into the match and would have been within a goal of the Gunners, if not for an impressive double save from Macey who first denied Ethan Hamilton’s shot with his leg, before jumping up to push substitute Aidy Barlow’s header over the bar.

Six minutes before time, Nketiah surged past Tyrell Warren and, as he descended on goal, placed a right-footed shot past Richardson at his near post. Only three minutes later Nketiah was again celebrating after Nelson played the ball across the box for an easy finish.

Two defeats to two London clubs - the first being West Ham - was naturally not the start to the new year that United Reserves would have wanted, but there will be a chance to put those games behind them when another team from the capital, Tottenham Hotspur, comes to Manchester on Monday 29 January.
United goalkeeper Richardson against Arsenal.
Two defeats to London clubs was naturally not the start to the new year that the Reserves wanted
MATCH DETAILS

Premier League 2 | Meadow Park | Scorers: Reine-Adelaide 19, Dragomi 60, Nketiah 84, 87.

United: Richardson; Olosunde, Riley, Warren, Williams; Sang (Burkart, 66), Redmond, Hamilton (Whelan, 78), Boonen (Barlow, 68); Bohui, Gomes. Subs not used: Barrett, Johnstone.