Photos: Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky make their return for Arsenal under-21s

Jack Wilshere

The senior pair returned from long-term injury absences as the Gunners development side comfortably beat Newcastle on Friday evening.

Arsenal fans were boosted on Friday night as it was announced that midfield pair Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky would make their long-awaited returns from injury for the club's under-21s side against Newcastle.

For Wilshere, his start at the Emirates Stadium was the first football he had played since scoring twice for England in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia last summer, whilst Rosicky has just one senior appearance to his name this season.

With the club desperately trying to claw their way back into the Premier League title race, the duo's return to fitness to bolster Arsene Wenger's midfield options will come as a big boost in the remaining weeks of the season.

Though Rosicky is widely expected to be released by the Gunners at the end of the season to bring to an end a decade of service at the club, the veteran Czech midfielder looked sharp on his return to action.

The 35-year-old linked up play delightfully with a neat array of passing, having a hand in the build-up of the opening goal and setting up the second before being substituted at half-time.

Wilshere looked a little more rusty but was still impressive given his lack of action, and will be pleased to have got over an hour of action under his belt before being taken off with 25 minutes left to play, nearly capping his return with a fine goal when he drove inches wide.

The development side looked in fine form, with a stunning team move ended in a superb turn inside and finish from Daniel Crowley after just seven minutes before Stephy Mavididi added a second less than a minute later.

Krystian Bielik's unfortunate own goal halved the deficit after 27 minutes but Serge Gnabry converted neatly to make it 3-1 before the break, which turned out to be the final score after a quieter second period.

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