Premier Under 21 League
Arsenal 1 Manchester United 1
A young United team shared the points with a more experienced Arsenal side in windy conditions at Boreham Wood. Although United had the best of the earlier part of the game, they were grateful for a fine save from Joel Perreira that preserved the draw in the closing minutes.
United took the lead with a penalty after ten minutes. With the linesman furiously flagging for a foul earlier in the move, the referee played the advantage and allowed United to advance, only for Janko to be clumsily bundled over when he received the ball in the area. Larnell Cole showed his customary composure to score from the spot.
Arsenal came back strongly and Afobe’s overhead kick just landed wide of the post, while Eisfeld also went close. Despite that, these proved to be the best chances for the home side in a first half in which United’s three man midfield of Rothwell, Cole and Pearson kept control of the game for long periods.
It was a different story in the second half, however, as Arsenal stepped up their game and equalised through a decisive strike from ex-Dortmund midfielder Eisfeld. While United continued to look dangerous on the break, the Gunners looked the more threatening in the later stages and it was only that crucial intervention from Pereira, whose reputation between the posts continues to grow, that allowed the Reds to walk away with a share of the spoils. Following the save, Eisfeld’s follow-up shaved the post and Arsenal gained a series of corners as they pressed for a winner.
It wasn’t to come, though, and while this results keeps United in the bottom half of the table, it was a hard-won away point against one of the Under 21 league’s better sides.