A difficult evening for Derby County Under-23s saw them beaten 5-0 by Arsenal at Meadow Park in the Premier League 2 Division 1.

After defeating the Gunners by the same scoreline at Loughborough University Stadium earlier in the season, Arsenal were looking for revenge against the Rams.

That was ensured by a first-half brace by Tyreece John-Jules and another by Joe Willock before the break, before Xavier Amaechi and Zech Medley finished the scoring in the second-half.

It was a fairly even opening 20 minutes between the sides with neither team looking to threatening in front of goal. In the 21st minute, John-Jules opened the scoring for the home side. A mistake at the back for the Rams saw the forward collect the ball on the edge of the area and tuck his effort away into the bottom corner.

Five minutes later, Arsenal doubled their lead while their striker doubled his tally on the evening. Willock made a good run down the right flank before passing forward to Bukayo Saka to feed in to John-Jules for a clinical finish.

Moments later, Derby came close to pulling one back when Calum Macdonald whipped a free-kick into the box, it bobbled back to Max Hunt who fired just over.

On the half hour mark John-Jules looked to make it a hattrick when he was played through by Willock to go one-on-one with Henrich Ravas, but the Rams keeper did well to block with his back foot.

In the 33rd minute the Gunners made it three when he fired in a first-time volley off Jordi Osei-Tutu’s delivery from the right.

The Rams came out fighting after the break and on 50 minutes Macdonald looked over the ball for a free-kick just outside the area. He whipped his effort to the top right and it rattled off the cross bar. Arsenal managed to half-clear it only for it to fall to Max Hunt for a second opportunity, but Arthur Okonkwo collected his low effort.

Derby kept pushing to pull one back and were denied by an unbelievable clearance by Danny Ballard off the line after Alex Babos lifted an effort past the keeper from close-range but the defender raced to clear it.

The home side made it four just after the hour mark when Amaechi slotted in from a tight angle after receiving the ball from the left. With just more than ten minutes to go substitutes Zak Swanson and Medley combined to add another.

Swanson floated a cross into the area and Medley rose highest to head it home.

The Rams have two matches left of the season as they look for their highest ever Premier League 2 Division 1 finish. They return to Pride Park next Monday to take on West Ham before moving on to face Tottenham.

Arsenal: Okonkwo, Osei-Tutu (Swanson) , Bramall, Gilmour, Ballard, Sheaf (C), Amaechi, Willock (Cottrell, 45), John-Jules, Burton (Medley, 63), Saka

Unused subs: Smith, Coyle

Derby County: Ravas, Gordon, Macdonald (C), Evans, Wassall, Hunt, Mitchell-Lawson, Roache (Sibley, 45), Cresswell (Bird, 45), Babos (Whittaker, 70), Shonibare

Unused Subs: Yates, Anya

Photo Credit: Arsenal Photographer David Price