Calum Chambers is a step closer to a first team return after playing his first competitive minutes in nearly 11 months.
The 25-year-old paired up with William Saliba in the centre of defence as Arsenal’s under-21s beat Gillingham 4-2 on penalties in the newly rebranded Papa John’s Trophy after drawing 1-1 over 90 minutes.
You may or may not remember that this is the competition that pitches senior sides from League One and League Two clubs against ‘Academy teams’ – with Category One status – from both the Premier League and Championship.
— Arsenal Academy (@ArsenalAcademy) November 10, 2020
Chambers, who injured his ACL in last December’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, was on the pitch for the first 45 minutes before being replaced by Levi Laing.
The Gunners took an early lead as Catalin Cirjin took advantage of poor defending by Zech Medley – on loan from Arsenal – but the home side got back on level terms through Trae Coyle – also on loan from Arsenal!
In the shootout, Matt Macey made a save and Gillingham also hit the post, while Balogun, Moller and Cottrell netted. Cirjan then finished things off with a panenka.
So happy to score the first goal of the game and to score the decisive penalty! A great performance from the team to win the group! Thanks everyone for the messages! The hard work continues❤️ #AFC #COYG pic.twitter.com/wPKvz9bRSe
— Cirjan Catalin (@CirjanCatalin1) November 10, 2020
Well done to the under-21s and a thumbs up for Calum. Good to see you back.