Arsenal’s under-19 UEFA Youth League side have been eliminated from the competition following a 1-1 draw with Basel. Andries Jonker’s side needed to win by any scoreline other than 1-0 today but alas, the young guns could not prevail.
Jonker fielded a strong side against Basel, with the likes of Mavididi, Bielik, Reine-Adelaide and Nelson all starting the game, while young hotshot, Eddie Nketiah started up front. Arsenal did have chances to score with Da Graca, Da Silva and Nketiah all coming close but Arsenal could not convert them.
In the reverse fixture, Arsenal lost 2-1, meaning that Basel didn’t have to go out and win the game. The Swiss team, however, played with a lot of attacking intent for large parts of the game and if not for some solid Arsenal defending the Swiss team could well have scored. Basel striker, Atdhe Rashiti, got the better of Da Graca and Bielik on separate occasions but just missed on both attempts – Arsenal were very lucky.
In the second-half Basel started off well yet again but did not capitalise on their slick passing and dominance. As the game wore on, however, Arsenal were given a glimmer of light as Eddie Nketiah poked home from close range to give Arsenal a 1-0 lead. Arsenal could not get a second though and in heartbreaking fashion Basel levelled the score in the closing minutes of the game, to knock Arsenal out of the competition.
In truth, Arsenal were made to pay for only managing one win throughout the whole group stage. With Arsenal being knocked out of the competition, England only have one representative in the competition, with Manchester City needing to win a playoff.
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