Report- Mavididi hits late equaliser to “get Arsenal out of jail” against PSG in UEFA Youth League

UEFA Youth League

Arsenal 2 (Mavididi 2) PSG 2

By Jeorge Bird @ Meadow Park



Stephy Mavididi struck a dramatic late equaliser to secure Arsenal a 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain and keep their hopes of reaching the Last 16 of the UEFA Youth League alive.

Arsenal knew that a loss would send them out of the competition but they fell behind in the first half to a goal from Antoine Bernede before Mavididi equalised from the penalty spot.

There was a hectic conclusion to proceedings as Felix Eboa Eboa restored PSG’s lead but Mavdidi struck at the death to make it 2-2.

There is still work to do- Arsenal must beat Basel away by two clear goals on the final matchday- but they are still alive in this competition.

After the game U18s coach Kwame Ampadu reflected that this was a “get out of jail free” moment for Arsenal, who hadn’t been at their best.

Chris Willock was absent but Jeff Reine-Adelaide started, while Kaylen Hinds was also involved from the outset.


Johnson-Da Graca-Bielik-T. Bola

Reine Adelaide-McGuane



Subs: DaSilva (for Malen, 81), Nketiah (for Da Graca, 83), Dragomir (for McGuane, 88). Not used: Virginia, Osei-Tutu, Mourgos, Eyoma.

Arsenal immediately adopted a very attacking approach, with Krystian Bielik, in contrast to his usual style, playing several searching long balls out from the back.

Reiss Nelson had a penalty claim turned down as Arsenal made a bright start and then Donyell Malen spun expertly only for his finish to lack conviction.

Thereafter PSG seized control, with Arsenal losing the midfield battle, where Reine-Adelaide was unable to have much of an impact.

Chiori Johnson misjudged a ball and further disappointing defending from Arsenal presented Bernede with the opportunity to open the scoring, with the PSG player duly obliging.

Arsenal looked to respond, with the dangerous Mavididi crossing for Malen, who was unable to find the net from close range.

Nelson, one of the few bright sparks in the Arsenal team, then shot wide but at the other end Hugo Keto had to be alert to make two impressive saves in quick succession after Marcus McGuane had squandered possession.

Somewhat against the run of play, Arsenal managed to claw their way back into the game, with Kaylen Hinds being brought down in the penalty area and Mavididi converting the spot-kick successfully.

Arsenal could even have gone into the break in front but Kristopher Da Graca’s header lacked conviction.

In the early stages of the second half Keto had to make another good stop to prevent PSG from regaining the lead.

Nelson then, having been instructed to take players on by coach Freddie Ljungberg, weaved his way past several PSG defenders before his effort hit the side-netting.

PSG continued to threaten at the other end and Keto, rather remarkably, made three impressive saves in a short period of time, with his defenders helping to clear the danger.

Arsenal had several substitutes warming up but Andries Jonker waited until very late before making an alteration, with Josh DaSilva replacing Malen in the 81st minute.

Not long afterwards PSG were in front, with Eboa Eboa capitalising upon some static defending to make it 2-1.

Arsenal, on the verge of exiting the competition in the group stages for the first time, had to go all out to score in the limited time they had left, and that is exactly what they did.

Jonker made the decision to switch to playing three at the back, with Reine-Adelaide pushed out wide and Nketiah sent on in search of a goal. Shortly afterwards Vlad Dragomir came on for McGuane.

The change in approach worked, with Mavididi finding the net, sparking wild celebrations.

For the remaining moments Jonker reverted to playing a back four, with DaSilva filling in at left-back, and Arsenal managed to gain a point that keeps them in this competition, for now at least.

Loan report- Wilshere impresses; Nwakali plays 90 minutes



Jack Wilshere played the whole game and impressed as Bournemouth beat Stoke City 1-0.

Wojciech Szczesny played the full game as Roma were beaten 2-1 by Atalanta.

Calum Chambers played the whole game and was booked as Middlesbrough lost 1-0 to Chelsea.

Takuma Asano came on in the 71st minute as Stuttgart drew 1-1 with Union Berlin.

Kelechi Nwakali played the whole game and Stefan O’Connor came on as a 93rd minute substitute as Maastricht beat Fortuna Sittard 3-2.

Jon Toral was introduced as an 87th minute substitute as Granada drew 1-1 with Valencia.

Ryan Huddart played the full game as Eastleigh drew 2-2 with Gateshead.

Glen Kamara was an unused substitute as Colchester United lost 2-1 to Yeovil Town.

Julio Pleguezuelo was an unused substitute as Mallorca drew 2-2 with Sevilla II.

Joel Campbell didn’t feature in Sporting Lisbon’s 5-1 cup victory over Praiense on Thursday as he was returning from international duty.

Dan Crowley wasn’t involved as Oxford United beat Crawley Town 4-1.

Tafari Moore wasn’t involved as Utrecht drew 1-1 with Twente.


Report- Debuchy scores and Nelson impresses as Arsenal U23s beat Tottenham


Image: Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League 2

Tottenham Hotspur 0 Arsenal 2 (Debuchy, Mavididi (pen))

Arsenal U23s registered another impressive victory today as an emphatic strike from the returning Mathieu Debuchy helped them to prevail past rivals Tottenham Hotspur with a 2-0 victory.

Debuchy, who hasn’t featured for the first-team this season due to injury, played 70 minutes and opened the scoring just prior to being withdrawn before Arsenal doubled their tally through a late penalty from Stephy Mavididi.

Tottenham found matters difficult and their situation was compounded when centre-back Charlie Owens was sent off for a foul.

Arsenal coach Steve Gatting made a solitary alteration from the side that thrashed Sunderland last time out, with Debuchy replacing Chiori Johnson at right-back.


Debuchy-Bielik-Sheaf-M. Bola


Nelson-Hinds-C. Willock


Subs: Johnson (for Debuchy, 70). Not used: Keto, DaSilva, Dragomir, Nketiah.

Arsenal impressed early on, but it was Tottenham who created the first meaningful opportunity of the game with Tom Carroll finding Shayon Harrison, who was unable to get the better of Matt Macey.

At the other end Mavididi forced Pau Lopez into a good save, then Reiss Nelson, so often Arsenal’s standout player at this level, saw his effort kept out.

The game became increasingly open in the second half, with Arsenal gradually becoming increasingly in command of proceedings.

Krystian Bielik should have found the net from close range but another defender would get on the scoresheet not long afterwards, with Debuchy rifling home after latching onto Chris Willock’s precise cross.

Any hope that Tottenham had of immediately clawing their way back into the game was put paid to as Owens was dismissed.

Arsenal took full advantage of their numerical superiority and began to push forwards with increased regularity. Firstly the impressive Nelson saw his effort saved after he was found by Zelalem and then the outcome of the game was put beyond doubt when Kaylen Hinds was brought down in the area and Mavididi converted from the spot.

Tottenham had a late chance, with Anton Walkes coming close to reducing the deficit, but Arsenal’s two goal lead remained intact.

Next up for the young Gunners is a home game against Leicester City.

Trevor Bumstead confirmed as Arsenal U16 coach with Ljungberg in charge of U15s

Arsenal have announced that a restructuring of the club’s academy staff took place in the summer, with Trevor Bumstead (pictured above with Thierry Henry) being named as the Gunners’ U16 coach. 

The promotion of Bumstead, who previously had coaching positions at West Ham United and Southend United, has led to Jan Van Loon taking up a new role as head of individual development. 

It has also been confirmed that former player Freddie Ljungberg is now coach of Arsenal’s U15 team. 

It was reported recently that Crystal Palace youth coach Ken Gillard will soon join Arsenal as the assistant to U18 coach Kwame Ampadu, although this has yet to be confirmed. 

Who will play for Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup this season?

The draw for the third round of the FA Youth Cup was made yesterday, with Arsenal set to host Blackburn Rovers.

The teams met in the 2001 final, with Arsenal running out winners, and the young Gunners will be seeking to go all the way this time around.

To be eligible to play in the competition this season, players must have been born between September 1st 1998 and September 1st 2001.

That means that the following individuals can be called upon in the FA Youth Cup this campaign.


Tolaji Bola*, Josh DaSilva*, Vlad Dragomir*, Yassin Fortune*, Charlie Gilmour*, Donyell Malen*, Marcus McGuane*, Jordi Osei-Tutu*, Eddie Nketiah*, Kostas Pileas, Nathan Tella, Joe Willock


Joao Virginia*, Alex Crean*, Reiss Nelson, Josh Benson, Emile Smith-Rowe, Daniel Ballard, Dominic Thompson, Jay Beckford, Joseph Olowu, Nathan Tormey, Robbie Burton, Tobi Omole.


Trae Coyle, Arthur Okonkwo, Daniel Barden, Tyreece John-Jules, Xavier Amaechi, James Olayinka, Vonte Daley-Campbell, Mark McGuinness.

*= player has signed professional terms

With the above information in mind, here’s how Arsenal could line up in the FA Youth Cup this season.



Virginia seems certain to start, with recent signing Crean providing back up from the bench. If either player is unavailable then one of the schoolboy goalkeepers, Barden or Okonkwo, will be drafted into the squad.


Osei-Tutu is set to play in this position and has very little competition for his place in the side.


Olowu, who has been a regular for the U18s this season, is likely to be paired with Pileas. Ballard represents an alternative option.


Tolaji Bola is vastly experienced at U18 level and is due to be deployed at left-back. First-year scholar Omole is likely to be his deputy, with Thompson another possible choice.


McGuane and DaSilva have played regularly together at the base of the midfield over the past couple of seasons and the former could captain the side.

Gilmour needs to build up his match sharpness before he can be considered for regular action in this competition, while Burton and Benson will be seeking to make the bench.




Nelson is capable of playing on either flank or as an attacking midfielder but could be used on the right wing. The England youth international is already a key player for the U23s but should still feature in this competition, with Tella and Joe Willock hoping to be named amongst the substitutes. Beckford may have to wait until next season for his chance, while Tormey is recovering from a long-term injury.

Central attacking midfield

Dragomir is Arsenal’s standout starlet in this position and the Romanian, who has featured for the U23s recently, should start against Blackburn.


Arsenal have many options in this position, but it seems that Malen will be chosen.

Fortune is injured, while Smith-Rowe and Coyle are both extremely talented but it remains to be seen if they will be able to command a starting berth.



Nketiah, who has been prolific in front of goal for the U18s over the past couple of seasons, will lead the line, but it is a little concerning that Arsenal don’t have many other young strikers in this age group with the exception of schoolboy John-Jules.

Possible FA Youth Cup team


Osei Tutu-Olowu-Pileas-T. Bola




Subs: Crean, Ballard, Benson, Tella, Smith-Rowe.

Other squad members: Fortune, Gilmour, J. Willock, Burton, Thompson, Beckford, Tormey, Omole, Coyle, Barden, Okonkwo, John-Jules, Amaechi, Olayinka, Vonte-Campbell, McGuinness.

Hinds scores and Thompson features as Arsenal XI draw with Hitchin Town



Kaylen Hinds scored as an Arsenal XI drew 1-1 away to Hitchin Town tonight in a friendly to mark the installation of new floodlights at the Hertfordshire-based side’s ground.

Arsenal took the lead through Hinds, but Hitchin, of the Southern Football League Premier Division, battled bravely all evening and eventually got their reward as they equalised with a late goal from Callum Riley.

With a host of players on international duty, Arsenal named a rather inexperienced side consisting mostly of members of the U18 squad. First-year scholar Dominic Thompson made his first start of the season on the left wing, while schoolboy Trae Coyle was deployed up front.

There were a few slightly older players involved, with Aaron Eyoma, Kaylen Hinds and Savvas Mourgos starting, while 21-year-old trialist goalkeeper Dan Lincoln was called upon.






Subs: Barden, Olowu, DaSilva, Smith-Rowe, Osei-Tutu, J. Willock, Smith.

Arsenal legend Pat Rice was present to officially switch on the floodlights, and the game then got underway, with Hitchin flooding forwards.

The young Gunners were able to withstand that early pressure and soon set about initiating some attacks of their own, with Thompson, who was evidently eager to make an impact, delivering some dangerous crosses into the penalty area that Hitchin had to scramble clear.

The hosts were regularly testing Lincoln in the Arsenal goal, but the shot-stopper remained calm under pressure as he claimed the ball with authority.

Arsenal had a chance to take the lead when Tobi Omole galloped forward from left-back and crossed for Mourgos, but the midfielder’s effort lacked conviction.

Hitchin then came close to finding the net but the half ended with the game still goalless.

Arsenal started to assert themselves more in the second period, with Nathan Tella’s effort going just wide and shortly afterwards the deadlock was finally broken when Hinds finished well.

Emile Smith-Rowe was then introduced, with the winger producing a dangerous cross which, frustratingly, didn’t have a recipient.

Hitchin had several further attempts and then, after Mourgos had spurned another opportunity for Arsenal, the hosts eventually equalised, with Riley’s effort finding the net.

Arsenal take ex-Reading goalkeeper Dan Lincoln on trial 

Arsenal have taken former Reading goalkeeper Dan Lincoln on trial. 

The 21-year-old, who had several loan spells at non-league clubs during his time with the Royals, featured for an Arsenal XI against Hitchin Town tonight. 

It is a little surprising that Arsenal are considering bringing in another young goalkeeper given that they already have several options in that department.