Report- Nketiah strikes but Arsenal U19s are knocked out of UEFA Youth League by Basel

UEFA Youth League

Basel 1 Arsenal 1 (Nketiah)


Getty Images

Arsenal U19s were eliminated from the UEFA Youth League in the group stages after they drew 1-1 away to Basel today.

The young Gunners had to win by a scoreline other than 1-0 to progress and they were given hope of achieving that aim late on when the prolific Eddie Nketiah found the net, but Basel soon equalised through Martin Leichti as Andries Jonker’s side crashed out.

In truth, Arsenal’s failure to qualify doesn’t come as a major surprise, especially as the club elected not to register Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Gedion Zelalem as over-age players, while the likes of Ben Sheaf and Chris Willock didn’t feature prominently in the competition.

Arsenal were without the injured Kaylen Hinds but they were able to call upon a member of the first-team squad in Jeff Reine-Adelaide.


Johnson-Da Graca-Bielik-T. Bola


Reine Adelaide-Mavididi-Nelson


Subs: Dragomir (for T. Bola, 30), Malen (for McGuane, 75). Not used: Virginia, Osei-Tutu, Eyoma, Olowu, Coyle.

Basel started brightly and dominated the early exchanges, but Arsenal created the first notable chance of the game, with captain Krystian Bielik knocking the ball down into the path of his central-defensive partner Kristopher Da Graca from a corner and the latter seeing his effort cleared off the line.

Nketiah then saw a shot saved, but Basel subsequently regained control of the game and came close to scoring prior to the interval.

Arsenal suffered a setback in the closing stages of the first-half, with Tolaji Bola having to be substituted due to injury which saw him replaced by Vlad Dragomir.

Luca Tausch caused problems for Arsenal’s defence in the early stages of the second half, with Hugo Keto having to be alert to make an impressive stop to thwart the Basel forward.

Eray Cumart then squandered an inviting opportunity for Basel before Nketiah put Arsenal ahead following good work from substitute Donyell Malen.

The lead didn’t last long, however, with Leichti’s late strike ending any hope that Arsenal had of making it through, while Basel progressed at their expense.

Loan report- Asano assists; Szczesny keeps clean sheet


Takuma Asano played 73 minutes and set up a goal for Christian Gentner as Stuttgart beat Erzgebirge 4-0.

Wojciech Szczesny kept a clean sheet as Roma beat Lazio 2-0.

Jack Wilshere played the whole game as Bournemouth beat Liverpool 4-3.

Joel Campbell came on in the 72nd minute as Sporting Lisbon beat Vitoria Setubal 2-0.

Ryan Huddart played the entirety of Eastleigh’s 3-3 draw with Halifax Town in the FA Cup.

Tafari Moore played 82 minutes as Utrecht II beat Emmen 3-1.

Jon Toral missed Granada’s 2-1 victory over Sevilla through injury.

Julio Pleguezuelo was absent for Mallorca’s 3-0 defeat to Real Valladolid due to suspension.

Kelechi Nwakali and Stefan O’Connor weren’t involved as Maastricht lost 2-0 to RKC Waalwijk.

Glen Kamara‘s Colchester United didn’t have a fixture this weekend.

Calum Chambers is expected to feature when Middlesbrough face Hull City tomorrow.

Dan Crowley has reportedly returned to Arsenal after his loan deal with Oxford United was cut short, but this has yet to be confirmed by either club.



Nketiah and Joe Willock score as Arsenal U18s come from behind to draw with Chelsea

Arsenal U18s came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to Chelsea today, with Edward Nketiah and Joe Willock finding the net. 

Chelsea took the lead through Ike Ugbo with just 30 seconds gone and doubled their advantage through Martell Tyler-Crossdale in the second period. 

However, Arsenal showed excellent resilience to come back, with Nketiah, who trained with the first-team yesterday, reducing the deficit following good work from Willock. 

Willock then found the net himself from the penalty spot to salvage a point for Arsenal. 

Arse all: Virginia; Osei-Tutu, Olowu, Pileas, T. Bola; DaSilva, Dragomir; Smith-Rowe, J. Willock, Malen; Nketiah. 

Info via ChelseaYouth

Zelalem amongst four Arsenal youngsters to train with first-team pre-West Ham


Arsenal held their final first-team training session today prior to tomorrow’s Premier League game away to West Ham United, with Gedion Zelalem one of four U23 players in attendance.

Zelalem was overlooked for the EFL Cup defeat to Southampton in midweek, but his inclusion here suggests that he is still rated highly by Arsene Wenger.

In addition, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Krystian Bielik and Chris Willock also trained with the senior squad.

With  regards to senior players, Mohamed Elneny trained after recovering from illness, but Olivier Giroud, Hector Bellerin, Mathieu Debuchy, Danny Welbeck, Yaya Sanogo, Per Mertesacker, Chuba Akpom and Santi Cazorla are all out.


Mavididi hoping to make Arsenal first-team debut against Southampton


The EFL Cup, as it is now known, has been the competition in which many Arsenal players have made their debuts for the club and Stephy Mavididi will hope that he is the latest individual to make the step up when the Gunners host Southampton tonight.

The talented young forward was on the bench for the third round victory over Nottingham Forest but wasn’t included in the squad for the fixture against Reading. However, Mavididi trained with the first-team yesterday, and, with Olivier Giroud missing through injury, the 18-year-old, who hit a brace against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Youth League last week, has a good chance of featuring tonight, most probably as a substitute.

Matt Macey, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Krystian Bielik and Marc Bola are also expected to make the squad but there is no room for Chris Willock, Gedion Zelalem, Ben Sheaf or Josh DaSilva.

Given that tonight’s opponents are an established Premier League side, Arsene Wenger will surely consider naming a slightly stronger squad than he normally does in this competition.

Those who have been on the periphery of the squad this season- Emiliano Martinez, Carl Jenkinson, Rob Holding, Gabriel, Kieran Gibbs and Jeff Reine-Adelaide- should all play, along with Alex Iwobi, the returning Lucas Perez and possibly Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Furthermore, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny also trained yesterday, and there is a possibility that some of these players may be named on the bench in case they are required to make an impact.

Petr Cech, David Ospina, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Aaron Ramsey were all rested from training yesterday and aren’t expected to be involved tonight. Ismael Bennacer trained with the first-team yesterday but may not make the bench.

Giroud, Hector Bellerin, Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck, Yaya Sanogo and Chuba Akpom are out injured.

Possible team:



Coquelin-Maitland Niles

Reine Adelaide-Oxlade Chamberlain-Iwobi


Subs: Macey, Bielik, M. Bola, Mavididi, Elneny, Xhaka, Walcott.

Malen hits late equaliser and Crean debuts as Arsenal U18s draw with Aston Villa

Image: Aston Villa

Donyell Malen struck a 91st minute equaliser as Arsenal U18s came from behind to draw 1-1 away to Aston Villa today. 

Villa took the lead through Harry Knibbs but, after coming close on several occasions, Arsenal eventually levelled through Malen.

Arsenal were without several players who were involved with the U23s yesterday, while they were doubt a further setback when Marcus McGuane had to be substituted in the first half due to injury. 

Alex Crean, who joined Arsenal in September, made his debut in goal while trialist Zech Medley was again called upon at centre-back. 

Arsenal: Crean; Osei-Tutu, Olowu, Medley, Pileas; McGuane, Burton; Tella, J. Willock, Smith-Rowe; Malen. Subs: Ballard (for McGuane, 18). Not used: Virginia, Omole, Coyle.