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UEFA Youth League: Arsenal’s Youth Bow Out Despite Second-Half Surge against Sevilla

Lino Sousa of Arsenal takes on Alberto Collado of Sevilla durin the UEFA Youth League match between Arsenal U19 and Sevilla U19 [Credit: David Price]

Mehmet Ali’s side is out of the UEFA Youth League despite showing a much-improved second-half performance in a 1-1 draw against Sevilla.

Goals from Nacho Vizcaino and Reuell Walters ended the match in a stalemate, but unfortunately, a draw wasn’t enough for Arsenal as they bowed out of the UEFA Youth League.

Arsenal went into this match on the back of losing their opening three UEFA Youth League group-stage matches. A win was required for Mehmet Ali’s side to keep their hopes of qualification alive. Meanwhile, Sevilla was level on points with PSV on four points each, and a win this afternoon would have increased their chances of progressing to the round of 16.

First Half:

The Spanish side started this half on the front foot and deservedly took their lead in the 13th minute. Nacho Vizcaino capitalized on a loose ball, and it involved a nice give-and-go between him and Ibrahima Sow. Then Vizcaino broke into the box and unleashed a brilliant near-post finish past Alexei Rojas to give his side the lead.

Four minutes later, Alexei Rojas had to deny Sevilla captain Alberto Collado after Ismail M’Hand didn’t deal with the clearance from the initial free kick. From the resulting corner kick, Collado was unmarked in the box, but his header was well over the bar.

In the 20th minute, Arsenal had their first shot on target as Osman Kamara’s effort inside the box was pushed away by Marc Dolz after a good delivery from the right from Seb Ferdinand.

As half-time was approaching, Arsenal was probing without really troubling the Sevilla backline. Sevilla went into half-time with a deserved lead, and Mehmet Ali’s side had a lot to do going into the second half.

Second Half:

Arsenal came out for the second half, the much-improved side. In the 53rd minute, Ismail M’Hand dragged his effort just the wrong side of the post after Josh Nichols found him inside the Sevilla box.

Reuell Walters drew Arsenal level just past the hour mark. Jimi Gower delivered an inch-perfect free-kick from the left-hand side. Walters left his marker to head home past Marc Dolz to get the Young Gunners back into the game.

Five minutes later, Chido Obi-Martin made space for himself and got his shot away, which was saved by Dolz at his near left-hand post. A minute later, Sevilla pounced on a poor clearance by Josh Nichols, and Ibrahima Sow was on the counter. He then passed the ball to Bakary Sow, but his Senegalese compatriot blazed his shot over the bar.

With 20 minutes to go, Ibrahima Sow spurned another opportunity to restore the lead for Sevilla. Ibrahima Sow pounced on Ayden Heaven’s poor clearance, and then he cut onto his left foot past Heaven, but he failed to hit the target.

Five minutes later, Arsenal substitute Michal Rosiak failed to hit the target just outside the box after a brilliant pullback into his path by Josh Nichols.

Both teams were looking for a winner late in the game, but the final action from both teams wasn’t quite there.

The game ended 1-1 as Arsenal found themselves out of the competition with two games to spare. Sevilla is on 5 points in third place, two points behind PSV, who won the other group game against the French side Lens.

On Wednesday, 29th November, Arsenal hosts Lens, whilst Sevilla faces PSV at home on Matchday 5 of the UEFA Youth League.

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