- Connor Goldson opens the scoring
- Goals from Ben Sheaf and Donyell Malen secure the win for Arsenal
- Five senior players named in the Albion starting eleven
- Albion next face Swansea away next Monday
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-21s were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Arsenal in a Barclays Under-21 Premier League Two clash at the Amex.
Seagulls coach Simon Rusk named a starting eleven for the game which included senior players Niki Maenpaa, Connor Goldson, Jake Forster-Caskey and Dutch duo Danny Holla and Elvis Manu.
Goldson broke the deadlock to give Albion the lead, but second-half strikes from Ben Sheaf and Donyell Malen secured Arsenal all three points.
Albion created a chance inside the opening three minutes when Rob Hunt’s shot from distance clipped the outside of the crossbar.
The Gunners had their first opportunity after Malen cut inside the defence and saw his shot clip the woodwork.
The visitors broke forward once again when England international Calum Chambers weaved his way through Brighton’s defence, but his strike was comfortably saved by Maenpaa.
The opening stages were end-to-end; James Tilley next ventured forward but saw his shot saved by Arsenal keeper Matt Macey.
Rusk’s side took the lead in the 13th minute when Goldson rose highest inside box to meet Holla’s corner and headed the ball past Macey.
Arsenal looked for an immediate response; Maenpaa was called into action to deny Malen, while Sheaf ended a slick counter-attacking move but shot into the side-netting.
The visitors continued to cause Albion problems as Alex Iwobi’s effort went narrowly wide of Maenpaa’s right post, before Julio Pleguezuelo headed wide from Sheaf’s free-kick.
LATEST NEWS FROM SEAGULLS.CO.UK
- REPORT: ALBION 2 BIRMINGHAM 1
- GALLERY: BIRMINGHAM CITY
- SEAGULLS SIGN VAN LA PARRA
- WILSON SIGNS UNTIL END OF SEASON
- HALF-SEASON TICKETS NOW ON GENERAL SALE
The Gunners restored parity to the scoreline three minutes after the re-start as Sheaf dispatched a cleverly-engineered set-piece beyond the outstretched Maenpaa.
Arsenal almost scored a second within seconds of equalising, but Maenpaa made a superb double save to deny Iwobi.
Malen gave the Gunners the lead on the hour mark when he chipped Maenpaa from inside the box, and they could have extended their lead but Stephy Mavididi fired wide at the near post from Glen Kamara’s searching ball into the area.
Manu was played through on goal for the Albion, but his angled drive hit the side-netting.
Holla came closer to netting an equaliser with a set-piece on the edge of the box, forcing Macey into a low one-handed save.
The Gunners could have added extra gloss to the scoreline late on, but Maenpaa was out quickly to deny Tyrell Robinson in a one-v-one situation and it was the north Londoners who claimed all three points.
ALBION: Maenpaa; Hutchinson, Barclay, Goldson, Hunt; Forster-Caskey, Holla, Harper (Molumby 65); Akindayini (Ward 65, Tilley, Manu.
SUBS NOT USED: Doherty (GK), Dallison, Harris.