UEFA Youth League
Ludogorets 1 Arsenal 1 (Nelson)
Arsenal U19s face a battle to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Youth League after they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Ludogorets today.
The young Gunners took the lead courtesy of Reiss Nelson, but Ludogorets battled bravely and equalised through Preslav Petrov. Arsenal went in search of a winning goal but, despite Krystian Bielik’s effort rattling the woodwork, they had to settle for a point.
Arsenal were dealt a blow in the build-up to the game with Edward Nketiah, who has been so impressive this season, forced to miss the match. Trae Coyle was given a start, whilst Jeff Reine-Adelaide made his first appearance at this level this campaign.
Johnson-Bielik-Da Graca-M. Bola
Subs: Mourgos (for M. Bola, 46), Eyoma (for Johnson, 61), Dragomir (for Coyle, 73). Not used: Virginia, T. Bola, DaSilva.
Arsenal started in the ascendancy with Coyle and Reine-Adelaide having efforts closed down before Nelson and Donyell Malen both missed inviting opportunities.
Eventually, though, Arsenal did manage to take the lead, with Nelson finishing well with 33 minutes gone.
Malen had a chance to make it 2-0 before the break but the Dutchman was unable to find the net.
Arsenal made a change at the start of the second half, with Savvas Mourgos replacing Marc Bola at left-back.
The young Gunners continued to have the majority of possession and they carved out several further chances but they were still unable to extend their lead with Reine-Adelaide coming close to scoring before Malen hit two efforts wide.
Arsenal were made to pay for their profligacy, with Petrov equalising in the 73rd minute, and, despite the introduction of Vlad Dragomir, Andries Jonker’s side weren’t able to restore their lead, with Bielik’s effort hitting the woodwork.
Next up is a home game against Paris Saint-Germain, a fixture which in the current circumstances is surely a must-win for Arsenal.