Our UEFA Youth League group stage began with a 2-1 defeat against PSV Eindhoven Under-19s at Meadow Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Ethan Nwaneri gave us the lead on the half-hour mark, before Emir Bars reduced the arrears for the away side with half-time approaching. Jason Van Duiven scored from a deflected free-kick in the 69th minute.
It was the visitors who began the game looking more likely to find a breakthrough as Renzo Tyten's dangerous cross from the left was touched just past the post by a stretching Ayden Heaven for a PSV corner.
Bars saw a cross float wide of the far post before, moments later, linking up with Tytens on the left and the latter firing high over the bar from inside the penalty area.
We sparked into creating a surge of attacks from the 28th minute, Myles Lewis-Skelly breaking through and finding Amario Cozier-Duberry on the right, who cut inside and saw his shot blocked.
Charles Sagoe Jr then shot high over the bar after he was found by Cozier-Duberry, before Nwaneri took the initiative to pounce on the ball in the 18-yard box and pick out the bottom right corner to give us the lead.
At the other end, Tygo Land's cross saw Alexei Rojas and Jason Van Duiven come together with the ball flying away from our goal, before we fought to make it 2-0.
Cozier-Duberry's cross from the right had too much power on it, but Charles Sagoe Jr came closer when he retrieved possession from a sloppy pass and charged through on goal, but shot straight at Niek Schiks.
In the 41st minute, PSV equalised as Bars drifted in from the left and saw his shot deflected off of Reuell Walters and going into the back of the net.
We nearly made it 2-1 on the brink of half-time after Sagoe Jr was fouled on the edge of the area. Michal Rosiak curled the free-kick over the wall and the ball was headed behind by Van Duiven. From the following corner, Nwaneri lifted the ball back into the box and the header from Omari Benjamin was well saved by Schiks, diving down to his left.
PSV almost took the lead straight away in the second half as Bars cut in from the left and curled the ball towards the far post, but Rojas was on hand to punch it away to his left.
Tay Abed showed good footwork and dribbling to find space before shooting wide of the post from distance, before Rojas made a great save from close range to deny Abed once more.
The visitors continued to push for a second as Abed curled wide of the post from close range in a crowded penalty area.
Mehmet Ali then brought Joshua Nichols on for Lino Sousa with just over 20 minutes remaining, but PSV broke through once more when Van Duiven's free-kick hit the wall and flew past Rojas.
Abed struck wide of the post again, this time from long range with a left-footed effort bending wide of the far post.
We then made two further changes, Sebastian Ferdinand and Harrison Dudziak coming on for Omari Benjamin and Nwaneri respectively. Dudziak immediately played the ball into Sagoe Jr who would have had a clear sight of goal were it not for the onrushing Schiks, who closed the angle to make a save.
Abed blazed the ball over the bar on the volley after playing a one-two with Waayers, before the former found Bars in the box, who cushioned it wide of the post.
We were forced into making another change with four minutes remaining as Ismail Oulad M'Hand came on for the injured Myles Lewis-Skelly.
Into eight minutes of added time, Yiandro Raap worked his way into the area and Van Duiven struck wide of the post for PSV, who held onto the lead for all three points.
WHAT IT MEANS
We are third in the UEFA Youth League Group B, level on points with Sevilla, who lost 1-0 to Lens on Wednesday.
Our UEFA Youth League group stage continues when we travel to France to face Lens at Stade Daniel Leclerq on Tuesday, October 3.
Arsenal XI: Rojas, Sousa (Nichols 68), Heaven, Walters (C), Rosiak, Nwaneri (Dudziak 74), Ibrahim, Lewis-Skelly (Oulad M’Hand 86), Sagoe Jr, Benjamin (Ferdinand 74), Cozier-Duberry
Substitutes (not used): Cooper, Kacurri
PSV XI: Schiks, Rovers (Waayers 53), Van De Blaak, Dams (Van Der Plas 90+4), Tytens, Abed, Kuhn (Raap 71), Land, Simons (Van Den Berg 46), Van Duiven (C), Emir Bars
Substitutes (not used): Janssen, Jager, Bouhoudane
Goals: Arsenal - Nwaneri (30), PSV - Bars (41), Van Duiven (69)
Bookings: Arsenal - Walters (22), PSV - Kuhn (49), Abed (83), Schiks (90+2)
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