Five members of the first-team squad were in action as Arsenal U23s continued their resurgence with a 1-0 win against their Everton counterparts at Emirates Stadium today.
Emile Smith Rowe was on the scoresheet and played 45 minutes, while Sokratis made his first appearance of the season and helped Arsenal to keep a clean sheet.
Calum Chambers took another step in his progress towards regaining full fitness as he played 76 minutes and William Saliba received another runout with Matt Macey starting in goal.
Macey, a veteran at this level with 69 appearances, was called into action on a couple of occasions but Arsenal were mostly impressive and deserved their victory.
Steve Bould’s side were reduced to ten men in the 62nd minute when Folarin Balogun was sent off for a second bookable offence. The striker’s first booking came after he punched the ball away with the second the result of a dive.
With Arsenal having such a large first-team squad it seems likely that there will be further senior players involved at U23 level over the coming weeks, and players such as Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli could feature at some stage as they edge closer to returning to action.
Being able to play alongside experienced players is undoubtedly hugely beneficial for Arsenal’s youngsters and it has also helped the U23s to discover some winning momentum, which has lifted them out of the relegation zone.