Pablo Mari impressed in his start for Arsenal’s U-23s on Monday, although the newly-signed Spaniard couldn’t quite guide the team to victory.
Here’s the young Gunners individual ratings in their Premier League 2 clash with Chelsea Under-23s
Karl Hein: Despite Chelsea having much of the ball in the first half he didn’t have much to do. Had a wayward pass or two but nothing too serious. Was unlucky with the second goal as his impressive save bounced straight to Billy Gilmour. 6.
Zak Swanson: Very smart display as captain. Chelsea tried to fire balls in behind him but he responded well, heading back to Hein. Didn’t have much impact on Arsenal’s attacking play. Still a solid display at right-back. 6.
Pablo Mari: Made a good early impression stepping in front of a Chelsea attacker to win the ball first. Spent a couple of minutes on the right of the defence before moving over to the left. Was very calm in possession and was willing to hold it a second longer to find an open man. Got caught out by a quick turn inside him which resulted in a foul. Took control in uncertain situations to come out with the ball. On one occasion a Chelsea player burst upfield but he stepped forward to win the ball off him. Could have reacted more quickly to Hein’s save to stop Gilmour equalising. A very decent first 45 minutes. 7.
Rob Holding: Like Mari, he was proactive in his defending and looked to seek the ball rather than reacting. Came close to scoring with a good header at the back post but it went across goal and wide. Showed great composure under pressure seamlessly changing direction to keep the ball. 6.
Tobi Omole: Did well to head away a dangerous free kick early but too a while to really going on the ball. When he went forward he was dealt with well by Henry Lawrence. 6.
Matt Smith: Was calm at the base of midfield but wasn’t as effective as usual. Chelsea did well to block his passing lanes and he became visibly frustrated with this. Struggled to get away from Luke McCormick on one occasion which ended in the pair squaring up for a second. Took up better positions in the second half to cut out passes in midfield. Wasn’t able to properly get control of the midfield, however. 6.
Jordan McEneff: Didn’t have much of an impact in midfield. Tried to initiate a press but couldn’t get one going. Made a good run off the ball to met a Greenwood cross but didn’t convert. 5.
Ben Cottrell: Wasn’t able to get on the ball much in the early stages but was key to Arsenal’s pressing. As a result he dropped so far back that he couldn’t have much impact on the game in midfield. Tried to have more of an impact in the second half making more runs off the ball but it didn’t have much effect. 6.
Sam Greenwood: Had a quiet first half but started the second half well by winning a 50/50 on halfway to get Arsenal on the attack. Made a good run across the back of the Chelsea defence to meet a Coyle cross and did well to lift it with his left foot but it went just over. Also played a nice cross himself for McEneff but it wasn’t converted. Played a few more dangerous crosses in but none were finished. 6.
Folarin Balogun: Was dropping off and pressing more in the opening exchanges but soon changed the game. Receiving the ball on the half turn he clipped a ball to the back post which flew into the top corner – possibly assisted by such high winds. Should have scored a second after Karlo Ziger dropped a high ball but his shot was cleared off the line. Started to come back into the game in the second half but should have scored a second. On one occasion he got the ball stuck under his feet, on the other his shot was telegraphed and easily saved. 7.
Trae Coyle: Was Arsenal’s most constant threat on the night. Although he didn’t always succeed, his pace and skill was too much for Henry Lawrence. Able to change direction at pace, Coyle created chances for Balogun, won free kicks and tried his best to set Omole free down the left. Clipped a great ball in behind for Greenwood that should have been converted. Also poked the ball to Balogun in the box in the second half but the striker couldn’t get a shot off. 7.
Zech Medley: Didn’t have the best of games. Was often caught running back to his own goal chasing attackers and struggled to keep them at arms length. 5.
Harry Clarke: Overall played well. Showed great anticipation to win a crucial sliding challenge on halfway before battling to get the ball away from the Arsenal box minutes later. Read danger well to cover Medley and win the ball. Was also proactive on the ball and played a great reverse pass to release Cottrell near the Chelsea box but it didn’t come to much. 7.
Mazeed Ogungbo: Wasn’t on long enough to rate. N/A.