Brentford B were beaten 4-1 away from home by a strong Arsenal side at their London Colney training ground on Wednesday afternoon.
It was a performance which will provide some fantastic learning curves for the young Bees, who went down to an Alexandre Lacazette hat-trick as well as a goal from Rob Holding. Julian Jeanvier, who continues his recovery from injury, found the net for The Bees with a header following an Alex Gilbert free-kick.
Neil MacFarlane’s side were up against a stern test with five first team players involved amongst some Under-23 players for The Gunners as Mikel Arteta’s side readied themselves to return to Premier League action. In the starting XI alongside Holding and Lacazette were the likes of Bernd Leno, Nuno Tavares and Eddie Nketiah.
The home side were comfortable in possession throughout with the young Bees forced to keep their concentration for spells throughout the opening period. Nketiah threatened down the left-hand side on four minutes but his low and powerful drive was well stopped by Roco Rees in the Brentford goal.
Holding then headed wide from an Arsenal corner on 16 minutes before the deadlock was broken on 21 minutes when Nketiah tricked his way into the box before the ball found its way to Lacazette, who held onto it well as he rode a couple of challenges before shooting low. The effort then took a deflection off of Ben Hockenhull and ended up in the back of the net.
The Bees still had moments, though, with the tireless running from Young-Coombes who always offered an outlet. The likes of Ryan Trevitt and Lewis Gordon were able to get alongside him with some dangerous crosses into the box which well cleared by the Arsenal back line. Dom Jefferies, industrious as ever, was able to pounce in midfield on a couple of occasions as they looked to break but chances at goal were at a premium as Arsenal won the ball back before shots could get away.
The second half was just a few minutes old when Arsenal extended their advantage as Nketiah tried his luck from distance and forced half-time substitute Ben Winterbottom into a save which then saw Lacazette tuck home the rebound from close range. 10 minutes later it was 3-0 as the Arsenal striker completed his hat-trick with an effort from distance.
At 3-0 The Bees had a very good opportunity to pull a goal back when a fantastic ball down the right-hand side from Tristan Crama found Young-Coombes, but as the youngster drove into the box towards goal, he lost his footing at the last second as The Gunners managed to win the ball back. On the hour it was 4-0 to Arsenal and it was a goal from a corner kick which Holding rose highest to as he nodded home.
Once again, moments continued to fall for The Bees as substitute Hans Mpongo helped to win the ball high up the pitch before he worked some space and shot right footed towards the top left corner, but it edged just wide.
A free-kick a few minutes later led to the Brentford goal. Substitute Gilbert delivered a fantastic cross from the right-hand side which evaded the Arsenal defence and bounced up for Jeanvier to nod home from close range.
The Bees could well have scored more when Gilbert played a wonderful ball out to the right for Wraynel Hercules to get on the end of. The winger delivered a brilliant first time cross for Mpongo but one of the Arsenal defenders managed to make contact to send the ball behind for a corner. Nico Jones almost got on the scoresheet on 88 minutes when he rose highest at the near post from a corner, but his glancing header was cleared away off the line by The Gunners as they claimed the 4-1 win.
Arsenal: Leno, Swanson, Holding, Ogungbo, Tavares, Azeez, Patino, Sagoe JR, Ibrahim, Nketiah, Lacazette
Subs: Okonkwo, Sousa, Dizeyi, Bandeira, Butler-Oyedeji, Biereth, Ideho
Brentford B: Rees (Winterbottom, 45), Russell (Gilbert, 45), Adedokun (Hercules, 79) Hockenhull (Jeanvier, 45), Jones, Jefferies, Young-Coombes (Mpongo, 57) Trevitt (Sotona, 45) Gordon (Trialist, 79) Oksanen, Crama