Mavididi strike sees Arsenal U19s return to winning ways against Dortmund

UEFA Youth League- Matchday 5

Arsenal 1 Borussia Dortmund 0

Stephy Mavididi’s goal early in the second half gave Arsenal a 1-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund and boosted their chances of progressing to the latter stages of the UEFA Youth League.

Dan Crowley missed a penalty in the first-half, but Arsenal still managed to prevail and bounce back from their disappointing results against Anderlecht.

Goalkeeper Hugo Keto made his debut for the club, whilst Julio Pleguezuelo played in this competition for the first time this season.

The first opportunity of the game fell to Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but the 17-year-old could only shoot over after latching onto Mavididi’s pass.

Dortmund responded through Mehmet Kurt, who sent an effort off target.

Arsenal slowly began to take control of proceedings and they came close to opening the scoring when Julio Pleguezuelo did well to find Crowley, who forced a save from Dominik Reimann.

Dortmund still posed an intermittent threat, but the majority of the chances were being created by Arsenal, with Crowley, as usual, heavily involved. The midfielder’s free-kick struck the side-netting and sent another effort narrowly wide shortly afterwards.

Emmanuel Mbende caused problems for Dortmund, but Arsenal were still on top and the Gunners came perilously close to taking the lead before the interval.

Mavididi saw two efforts saved in quick succession, with Chris Willock then seeing a cross gathered by Reimann.

Arsenal were presented with a golden chance to take the lead just before the break when Ainsley Maitland-Niles was stopped in his tracks by a crude challenge.

Crowley stepped up confidently to take the penalty, but, surprisingly, the midfielder blasted his effort over the crossbar.

Arsenal were very nearly made to pay for that miss before the interval, but thankfully Mejia Flores’ effort was off target.

Arsenal looked determined to turn their dominance into something tangible after the re-start and they did just that when captain Alex Iwobi crossed for Mavididi to finish from close range.

The striker was delighted to get back on to the scoresheet after several games without a goal and he very nearly got a second just minutes later after Gedion Zelalem’s clever pass, but Reimann was on hand to gather the ball.

Mavididi was heavily involved in the second-half and the striker put the ball in the net again after good work from Crowley, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

At the other end Stefan O’Connor had to make a crucial intervention to prevent a Dortmund equaliser, but Arsenal ended the game in the ascendancy and really should have had another goal to show for their performance.

Somehow it didn’t materialise, with substitute Tyrell Robinson having a strike ruled out for offside just after Dortmund had suffered the same fate.

There was still time for further chances, with Robinson, Zelalem and Mavididi all somehow failing to find the net from close range.

It mattered little in the end, though, as Arsenal took all three points and returned to winning ways in this competition.

The exact permutations regarding the result Arsenal require to progress to the Last 16 remain unclear after the other game in this group, between Galatasaray and Anderlecht, was suspended.

Arsenal: Keto; Johnson, Pleguezuelo, O’Connor, T. Moore, Maitland-Niles, Zelalem; Iwobi, Crowley, Willock (Robinson, 69); Mavididi. Not used: House, Chatzitheodoridis, Dobson, Smith, Sheaf, Eyoma.



  1. Good games for many. Maitland-Niles biggest hope of the lot for me. Today he not only gave a good performance, he showed up first team players by showing more discipline, and in a new position, than players with years of first team experience have done for us when performing the same role.

    Finally, he showed the benefits of pure strength and athleticism in that position. There’s a fair chance he’ll turn out to be strong for senior football, too, but he certainly looks strong and quick at this level, and it’s flat out refreshing to see any Arsenal player in that holding role be able to use speed and strength to make up ground and ,fairly, push people around.

    Praise/rant over. Pleg, Iwobi and O’Connor probably next in line in terms of impressing today.

  2. mbende shouldnt of been playing he looked about 37, however I was impressed by Sauerland who was their best player. Ainsley has definitely been impressive since his switch into to the middle and he snuffs out trouble and sets us going again effortlessly. good performances all over the pitch the younger lads all done well in one of their first big games while the senior lads led by example. Crowley looks special (penalty apart) and Zelalem passing is exquisite he just needs to be a bit stronger. at the back pleggy and Stefan won everything in the air and were very cool on the floor, taf was reliable as ever and Chiori done well considering he has only just broke into the U21s. The only shame was it only finished 1-0

    1. Zelalem has the odds against him being stronger since he is ethiopian and those are generally very skinny or weak. I don’t think he will make it just because of that. If you wants to make it then you have to be extremely lucky with injuries, your vision and technique has to be a lot better than like 90% of the players in the very top level. He is struggling in almost every game and that is not only because of his lack of strength.

      The only one player I can think of that is similar to Zelalem in body is Benayoun who was top class and you could see he was special and a lot better than most players. Zelalem has no future in EPL. I doubt he will have a good career in germany, france, italy or netherlands.

      Compare Zelalem to Maitland-niles who you hear often has a good game in the middle.

      1. What amazes me here is not this retard’s comment at all. he is a typical Ethiopia hater, we know which part of the world they’re from. but the fact that JB let such an idiotic, RACIST comment be posted here?!!!

      2. To Ethiopian.

        You are the moron here. If I say swedish and english people have very skinny body build and not ready for the top level of football what would you say then? I would admit I was complete wrong there but on ethiopian it is fucking true! Tell me ONE ethiopian on the highest level with very skinny build please. I only can think of Benayoun and he is not ethiopian.

        Please give me ONE example of a great ethiopian footballer. I am talking about a skinny build first and foremost. That actually apply to many asians too but obviously not all asians and there are many examples of them in other sports. But in football, no doubt most asians lack the physical attributes for the very highest level.

        In Zelalems case he needs to bulk up tremendously since he is even lacking against players at the same age.

      3. This is based on your length experience living in Ethiopia….or like you watched the Olympic 5,000m race once and you saw 3 skinny Ethiopian guys there? (all of whom by the way would leave you choking dust in a 200 meter sprint, let alone a full 400m around the track).

        Zelalem’s frame has nothing to do with anything. He has a good engine to get around efficiently, which is attribute #1 at that position. Stength is something you can put on a kid – no one who has expertise in phsyical training would call it anything other than idiotic to force muscle mass on to 16-17 yr old kid – you let them develop naturally and as the body starts to mature you can add explosiveness where needed but never muscle mass for the sake of it. I mean you ever seen Makelele in a copy of “BodyBuilder” magazine? Khedira? Fernandniho? Even Gattuso – go look at his body – he is no muscle freak.

        Who is your model here? Frimpong ? He’s failed and moved into the t-shirt/”lifestyle apparell” business already!

  3. Jeorge you also havnt mentioned us hitting the post only for the ball to bounce straight back into the keepers arms with Mavididi and Robinson running in.

  4. I’m going to dub you “General Jom”, as you make the most effing rash and redicolous generalizations on this site. Not the first time for you and even if it were (I’m just going by memory here, so it might be) the one you just made, is good enough to earn you that moniker. Idiot.

    1. Ok. Since you can’t see it and thinking I am generalizing is totally wrong. You will see Zelalem maybe in holland or something but for sure not england. I wouldn’t have said that if we actually see skinny players no matter race or background but since you don’t see that and since ethiopian is generally skinny its pretty safe to say Zelalem wont make it here or in any other top club either. Yes he is young but good luck beating genes.

      1. your comments are based on his ethnicity, so that makes you a moron and a racist. what makes you think you’re a better judge than Arsene Wenger on Gedion Zelalem ?!!! a famous Ethiopian footballer? plz google Amin Askar. Also Haile G/Selassie, Kenenisa Bekele, Tirunesh Dibaba, supposedly ‘skinny’ Ethiopia athletes who have smashed more than 50 world and olympic records between them..and the list goes on. but i don’t have to educate an idiot like you becoz you’re a lost case.

        AGAIN, why JB is not ‘moderating’ your comments is even more suspicious.

  5. Hey Jom, Benayoun is a fellow jew and guess what??? We’re both really skinny??? I think that must mean all those with Jewish blood are really skinny, no??? Wow, we just figured out Ethiopian, as well as Jewish physiology!!! Where’s my Nobel Peace Prize??? Did ever call you an idiot before??? Not sure…If I didn’t I will call you it (again) 😉 IDIOT.

    1. Yes you just proved how stupid you are. I just told you in my comments there are cases with some exceptions but I guess you are too stupid too read and understand. Because I never said all jews are skinny. not mentioned that ONCE! IDIOT! I said ethiopians are generally very skinny you fucking moron. thats a big fucking difference and Zelalem are not one of them muscular exceptions. That means he will most likely be skinny for the rest of his life. He can try to bulk up but that will only help him so far.. If you really are that stupid for not understanding genes then you are really a moron and you just proved that you are.

      The things you said I did…. I never fucking said ALL jews or ethiopians are skinny you moron. If you don’t understand the argument that you need to be up there physically too to compete in the highest level then you are a moron. There are many examples of jewish people playing in the highest division and not many of them are skinny at all. ALOT of somalians play football. Why don’t you see a lot of skinny players in the highest division? Because they can’t cope with it. Zelalem struggle in the U21 games and its only a matter of when Arsenal will drop him. He works in the younger age group but not at all in the more mature ages.

  6. So Patrick Vieira was never skinny??? How about Yaya Toure, hmmm??? I was just trying to prove to you how illogical you sound. It’s probably not all genes that plays a factor. Climate, diet, exercise, work environments…I’m pretty sure if an Ethiopian ate only cake, he’d put on a few pounds like the rest of us. Show me your biology degree and then we’ll talk, sound fair??? Reporting for duty, general.

    1. show me how skinny yaya toure was because he had no problem at all coping with the physical game, neither did vieira. And since you think I need a degree to talk about this. How about your own degree your idiot!???

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