Post-Match Report

Youth Cup: Arsenal 2-1 Fulham (aet)

12/13: FA Youth Cup - Arsenal 2-1 Fulham - Anthony Jeffrey
Hector Bellerin

Fulham Yth -

Barnet FC
FA Youth Cup
FA Youth Cup
2 1
  Fulham Yth
Fulham Yth

Austin Lipman was Arsenal’s extra-time hero as Steve Gatting’s side booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.

The forward struck the winner in the 108th minute after an even game had ended all square after 90 minutes.

Gatting’s team took an early lead in a first half where they were simply too good for their opponents.

But after the break, Fulham controlled proceedings and deservedly equalised through Muamer Tankovic.

In a fiercely contested and at times end-to-end encounter, both sides created chances to win the game. But it was substitute Lipman who had the final say.

"Arsenal were strong in the tackle. They hassled and harried their opponents when they didn’t have the ball and, when they did, they moved with speed and intent"

Gatting made just the one change from the side that had got Arsenal into the fourth round, with Serge Gnabry replacing Jon Toral.

His side started the tie in a similar manner to their victory against Newcastle United last time out. Again they attacked with speed, intensity and movement - but unlike in the last round, they got their reward early.

Jack Jebb picked up the ball midway inside the Fulham half. He strode forward before playing a perfectly-weighted pass to set Jeffrey through on goal. The winger touch a touch to steady himself before confidently slotting the ball under Billy Granger and in.

The hosts were most dangerous down their right side. After 20 minutes, Bellerin and Jeffrey combined before the latter sent over a hanging cross to the far post. Jebb met it, and knocked the ball back for Gnabry, whose placed shot was blocked on the line.

Arsenal were strong in the tackle. They hassled and harried their opponents when they didn’t have the ball and, when they did, they moved with speed and intent. They started like a side determined to win, emphasised by Bellerin’s fine man-and-ball tackle on Dembele.

Gatting’s team went close to a second just after the half-hour. Again, Bellerin and Jeffrey tormented the visitors down the right-hand side. This time Jeffrey cut the ball back to Jebb, whose shot was well held by Granger at his near post.

Fulham were being put under increasing pressure. On the stroke of half time, Olsson tricked his way to the byline. He drove the ball back into the path of Gnabry, whose shot was blocked wide.

The visitors had been fortunate to go into the break only the one goal down. They started the second period positively though, and were level within five minutes.

Soloman Sambou set up Tankovic just outside the area and the midfielder looked up, picked his spot, and stroked the ball past Deyan Iliev.

Jordan Evans, a half-time substitute, was making a real difference. He swept through the Arsenal defence but then shot wide when well placed.

Just before the hour, the visitors threatened again. This time, only Bellerin’s last-ditch tackle prevented Hyndman from going through on goal.

Fulham were running the game at this point. Then, out of the blue, Arsenal spurned a golden chance to retake the lead. A free-flowing move ended with Gnabry shooting at the legs of Granger.

A minute later, he ran at the defence before sending in a shot that the goalkeeper held comfortably.

But just as Gnabry was beginning to influence the game, he picked up a knock - just like Jeffrey 10 minutes before - and was replaced by Alex Iwobi.

As the game entered its final 10 minutes, Arsenal were indebted to captain Isaac Hayden for a series of goal-saving blocks. He bravely denied Cauley Woodrow twice as the visitors finished the stronger.

The first half of the extra 30 was cagier than the 90 that had gone before it. While Fulham had more of the play, Arsenal, and Chuba Akpom in particular, were a potent force on the break.

Three minutes after the break, the hosts retook the lead - and it came out of nowhere.

Lipman controlled outside the area but with defenders surrounding him, there looked to be no danger. The striker took a touch before neatly side-footing through one of his markers' legs and into the bottom corner.

There were a few nervous moments late on but Arsenal showed their character to battle through and book their place in the last 16.

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