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


UEFA Youth League

Basel 1 Arsenal 1 (Nketiah)

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.

Keto

Johnson-Da Graca-Bielik-T. Bola

McGuane-DaSilva

Reine Adelaide-Mavididi-Nelson

Nketiah

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.

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2 comments

  1. Jeorge , I thought you understood clearly youth football is for development. Maitland Niles and Zelalem are past this level. Infact if they had remained plus the likes of crowley last year Iwobi probably wouldnt have gotten the chance and he wouldnt be where he is. We had only three places for overage players Bola Johnson Eyoma were rightly given the chance as they are not as developed and need that chance too. Maitlland Niles and Zelalem may not even make it yet probably Da Silva may make it because of such a chance. Complain probably because of Willock and Sheaf but Zelalem Maitland Niles Bennacer are past this level. Retaining them only denies others an equal chance to develop.
    Youth football is all about development. Many people rely you for information about youth football.

    1. As a Coach of many years, I agree that youth football is about development. However, there is nothing wrong with developing a winning mentality in young players.

      I would much rather see the best available players being used rather than throwing in youngsters that are clearly not going to be able to compete at the level currently.

      There would be no harm to any players (born 1997) career if they played in this tournament, especially if they went on to win it.

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