Post-Match Report

U19s: Atletico 1-0 Arsenal - Report

Dan Crowley

Atletico Madrid -

Atletico Madrid Training Centre
UEFA Youth League
UEFA Youth League
  Atletico Madrid
              0 (1)
Atletico Madrid
0 (1)
1 0
  Arsenal U19
Arsenal U19
(This fixture kicks-off at 7pm local time)

By Josh James at the Cerro Del Espino, Madrid


A first-minute goal was enough to send Arsenal Under-19s tumbling out of the Uefa Youth League in Madrid.

Atletico Madrid caught Steve Gatting's team cold just 30 seconds after the first whistle, Amath scoring with a sweetly struck first time effort from a left wing cross.

Arsenal enjoyed the majority of possession after that, but were frustrated by a resolute home defence who stood firm - even after having a man sent off late on - to reach the quarter finals, and end the young Gunners' European dreams for another season.


After finishing as group runners-up, Arsenal Under-19s took on Atletico here in Madrid knowing a quarter-final tie away to Chelsea or Zenit St Petersburg awaited the winner.

Gatting made five changes to the side that completed the group stage with a 3-1 victory at Galatasaray in early December.

Stefan O'Connor, Gedion Zelalem, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi all returned to the line-up after being involved with the senior team in the Champions League last time out.

Kaylen Hinds, back from injury, was also restored, as Chris Willock dropped to the bench while Daniel Crowley - with five goals during the group stages - retained his place in midfield.


Arsenal got off to the worst possible start. With barely 30 seconds on the clock, Tete got away down the left wing, pulled back a low cross and Amath was there to finish with a crisp first-time shot to beat Huddart.

It was the fourth time in the last five Uefa Youth League games that Arsenal had found themselves behind in the opening 10 minutes.

It was a nightmare start, but to their credit Gatting's men then looked to dictate play and soon settled into their stride. They kept the ball well for the next ten minutes or so, but the hosts were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure.

Then, on the quarter hour mark, the young Gunners had a real let off. Zelalem was dispossessed trying to turn his man outside the area and Andres found himself through on goal. Thankfully for the outnumbered Arsenal defence though, he scuffed his shot wide of the post.

The foul count was beginning to build up for the Spaniards as they tried to disrupt Arsenal's fluency.

One such foul, to crudely halt Alex Iwobi's counter-attack, gave Arsenal a shooting opportunity just outside the box. Crowley stepped up and curled his effort over the wall, but into the keeper's arms.


Stephy Mavididi appeared to have a strong shout for a penalty just two minutes after the restart, when he was bundled over in front of goal, but the referee ignored his claims.

Arsenal were beginning to commit more men forward as they searched for the equaliser, but Atletico were defending in numbers and defending well. On the hour mark centre half O'Connor strode forward and tried his luck from long range, but it was easy for the keeper.

Hinds himself popped up in the middle with 10 minutes left, he met Maitland-Niles' cross eight yards from goal but his shot went just wide.

The referee had been kept busy all evening, blowing for a succession of fouls from Atletico, so it was little surprise when they were reduced to 10 men with six minutes to go - defender Theo was the man receiving his marching orders.

Arsenal sent everyone forward in an attempt to take the game to penalties, but the home defence were equal to everything they could throw at them. Maitland-Niles had the last chance, but his 20-yard drive whistled narrowly wide.

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