By Max Jones at Meadow Park
Arsenal Under-19s beat Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in the Uefa Youth League on a foggy Wednesday afternoon at Meadow Park.
Daniel Crowley had the chance to put the Gunners ahead at the end of the first half but sent his penalty well over the crossbar.
Arsenal sprung out after the break and took the lead when Stephy Mavididi tapped in Alex Iwobi’s cross.
The striker and Tyrell Robinson then had goals disallowed as the home side hung on to their lead to close the gap on Anderlecht at the top of the group.
SETTING THE SCENE
Frans de Kat and Steve Gatting made three changes to the side that lost 2-1 against Anderlecht at the start of the month.
Hugo Keto replaced Ryan Huddart in goal, while Chiori Johnson and Julio Pleguezuelo came in for Marc Bola and George Dobson in defence.
Arsenal sat second in Group D prior to kick-off, with Dortmund, who the Gunners beat 2-0 in September, at the foot of the table.
De Kat christened the clash as a must-win game for Arsenal if they wanted to progress to the next round, as they were level on points with Galatasaray, who travelled to leage-leaders Anderlecht.
With Kaylen Hinds - who netted the brace to sink the Germans in the reverse fixture - absent, the emphasis was on top scorer Crowley to supply the goal threat.
The playmaker had already scored five goals in the competition and nearly added to the tally when he stung Dominik Reimann’s palms, before crashing a free-kick and a low strike into the side netting.
Emmanuel Moise Mbende looked closest to scoring for the German side, but the colossal centre back was denied by a series of committed Arsenal bodies.
Mbende looked comfortable attacking the Gunners’ goal, but it was in his own box that he struggled. Ainsley Maitland-Niles glided past two Dortmund defenders before the big German brought him down.
Crowley, who had slotted home from the spot against Anderlecht and Galatasaray, stepped up confidently but smashed over to leave the sides goalless going into the break.
Arsenal began the second half with the same fluidity they displayed at the end of the first. Iwobi beat his man on the right and crossed to Mavididi, who tapped in from four yards.
Mavididi could have had a second three minutes later when he rounded Reimann, but the goalkeeper threw a hand at the ball to prevent a certain goal.
The striker then had a goal disallowed after heading in Crowley’s centre from an offside position before putting over from another Iwobi cross.
Dortmund then had a goal ruled out after slotting in from close range, before Robinson suffered the same fate when he tucked home Mavididi’s shot.
A late flurry from the home side saw two goal-line misses and a shot crash against the woodwork as Arsenal chased a second, but De Kat and Gatting will have been delighted to get back to winning ways, regardless of the margin.
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