We secured our first point in the UEFA Youth League with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Sevilla.
After a disappointing start to the tournament with three consecutive losses, we were determined to get a positive result in this game. The opening moments were tense, with tough tackles and physical challenges dominating the first ten minutes.
However, it was the away side who broke the deadlock when Jose Ignacio connected well with Ibrahima Sow, firing home from close range.
Sevilla came close to doubling their lead, but Alexei Rojas made a fantastic save to deny Alberto Collado's close-range effort, keeping us in the game.
Gradually, we started to find our rhythm and created our first opportunity when Seb Ferdinand delivered a pinpoint cross to Osman Kamara, whose volleyed effort was comfortably saved by Marc Dolz in the Sevilla net.
We came out stronger in the second half, and our pressure paid off when our captain Reuell Walters rose highest to head home from a superb free-kick delivery by Jimi Gower, bringing us level on the hour mark.
Buoyed by the equaliser, we intensified our attack and tested Dolz again as Chido Obi's low left-foot drive was pushed out for a corner.
Sevilla, however, had their chances to take the lead. They caught us off guard on the counter from a corner, but Bakary Sow wasted the opportunity by blasting his one-on-one chance high over the bar. Moments later, Ibrahima Sow hit the side netting from close range.
Despite both teams pushing for a winner, we couldn't find the decisive goal. Michal Rosiak came close with a shot from the edge of the box that sailed over the bar. Ultimately, we had to settle for a point.
Overall, it was a hard-fought match, and securing our first point in the UEFA Youth League against a tough opponent like Sevilla is an encouraging step forward.
WHAT IT MEANS
The outcome of this match is bittersweet as it marks our first point in the competition. However, it also signifies that we will not be able to qualify for the knockout stages, with two group games remaining.
We’re back in UEFA Youth League action on Wednesday, November 29 where we host RC Lens.
Kick-off at Meadow Park is at 1pm.
Arsenal XI: Rojas, Nichols, Walters, Heaven, Sousa (Rosiak, 67), Ibrahim, Oulad M'Hand (Dudziak, 80), Gower, Ferdinand, Kamara (Obi, 46), Benjamin (Oyetunde, 89)
Subs not used: Cooper, Kacurri, Brown
Sevilla XI: Dolz, Moreno, Martínez, Jalade, D.López, Ignacio, Rivera, B.Sow (Villar, 83), Collado, J.López, I.Sow
Subs not used: Recio, Arquellada, Altozano, Salguero, Acuña Miguez
Goals: Arsenal - Walters (60), Sevilla - Ignacio (12)
Bookings: Arsenal - Kamara (31), Sousa (41), Benjamin (56), Ibrahim (73), Gower (73), Obi (83), Sevilla - B.Sow (6), Rivera (73)
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