We suffered our first defeat of the season on Tuesday night, going down 2-0 against Ipswich Town in the Papa Johns Trophy group stage at Portman Road.
Mehmet Ali was without a number of key players due to international call-ups, so handed a debut at this level to full-back Elian Quesada-Thorn as part of a new-look starting XI.
The match got off to the worst possible start for us inside three minutes, Dominic Ball firing the hosts into the lead, beating Hubert Graczyk from close range after we failed to deal with a corner to the back post.
We had to withstand more early pressure from our League One opponents, but began to find our rhythm midway through the first half, Matt Smith and Mauro Bandeira dictating the tempo from midfield.
Nathan Butler-Oyedeji continued to test Ipswich's backline with dangerous runs in behind, while Charles Sagoe Jr also looked sharp as we pressed for an equaliser before the break.
Ali made a triple change at the break, introducing Bradley Ibrahim, Reuell Walters and Cirjan Catalin, with the latter making an instant impact with a number of inventive through balls.
We continued to have the majority of possession, but struggled to convert our dominance into clear-cut chances to test Vaclav Hladky in the Ipswich goal.
The hosts made us pay in front of goal and wrapped up all three points with five minutes left to play, Freddie Ladapo racing in behind and finishing beyond Graczyk after we tried to play an offside trap.
On the final whistle, our young Gunners went over to applaud the 300-plus travelling supporters who made the journey to Portman Road.
WHAT IT MEANS
We drop to second place in Group P, ahead of our final fixture in the group stage against Northampton Town.
We're in Premier League Cup action next, when we travel to Burnley on Friday, September 23.
Kick-off at Lancashire FA is at 1pm (UK time).
Starting XI: Graczyk, Sweet, Foran, Awe, Quesada-Thorn, M.Smith, Bandeira, Henry-Francis, Taylor-Hart, Butler-Oyedeji, Sagoe Jr
Substitutes: Hillson, Kacurri, Walters, Ibrahim, Ideho, Cirjan, Vigar
Copyright 2022 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.