FA Youth Cup | Relive our run to the final

Arsenal's under-18s celebrate scoring against Cambridge United

Our under-18 side have been on quite the adventure to reach the final the FA Youth Cup, where they will face West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, April 25.

If their previous matches in this year's competition are anything to go by, the goals are set to flow in north London - that's because in our five ties so far, 25 goals have been scored as Jack Wilshere's team negotiated some tricky ties to set themselves up to potentially lift the trophy for the first time since 2009 - tickets available now.

Here, we look back on how things have gone so far:

Third round
Arsenal 6-0 Milwall
December 19, 2022

The cup run began at a wet and windy Meadow Park, but it was Millwall who were swept away thanks to a clinical performance from our Young Gunners.

Jimi Gower started the scoring in the 13th minute, before Ethan Nwaneri blasted home and Michal Rosiak added a third to give us a healthy advantage at the break.

Three further goals came after the restart, with Amario Cozier-Duberry wrapping up the tie eight minutes into the second half, before two late strikes from Omari Benjamin put further gloss on the scoreline.

Wilshere: "You saw the intention from the start, we wanted to play forward and get our players in the pockets and hurt them, and we did that.

"I think we can get better, which is quite scary really. This tournament is good for development because it's knockout football and you have to win."

Team: Cooper, Roziak (Ferdinand 58), Robinson (Brown 77), Walters, Quesada-Thorn, Ibrahim (Oulad M’Hand 77) Lewis-Skelly, Gower, Cozier-Duberry, Nwaneri, Benjamin.

Fourth round
Newcastle United 2-3 Arsenal
January 17, 2023

A tricky trip to the north-east came next, and Wilshere's side rose to the challenge to snatch a dramatic victory in snowy conditions at St James' Park.

We got a deserved opener after just 14 minutes when Seb Ferdinand poked home from close range, but despite Lewis Miley swiftly restoring parity we went into the break in front thanks to a deflected Cozier-Duberry strike.

Back came the Magpies again and Ben Parkinson levelled again, and just as the game looked to be going to extra-time, Osman Kamara whipped home the winner with three minutes remaining to spark jubilant scenes from the visiting players.

Wilshere: “I said to the players that they should enjoy these moments because coming to a stadium like St James’ Park is a great stage for them.

“However, we need the same desire that we had tonight into every game going forward. They’re going to have to want to win more than the opposition.” 

Team: Cooper, Rosiak, Walters, Quamina, Sousa, Lewis-Skelly, Ibrahim, Gower (Robinson 89), Cozier-Duberry, Ferdinand, Benjamin (Kamara 83).

Fifth round
February 6, 2023
Watford 2-4 Arsenal

A superb fightback from our Young Gunners saw them overturn a two-goal deficit thanks to an excellent second half performance.

The Hornets looked to be heading into the quarter-finals when Michael Adu-Poku and Tobi Adeyemo handed them a dream start after just 13 minutes, but after the break it was a different story.

Cozier-Duberry's penalty began the fightback, before two goals in two minutes from Kamara and Rosiak turned the tie on its head. Cozier-Duberry then converted another from the spot to complete the scoring, and claim a resilient victory.

Wilshere: “To come back in the second half and score four goals shows real character and desire.

“When you’re two goals down, you need to play with a fire in you and have the desire to win. The boys have a never say die attitude and coupled with the quality they have it’s hard for teams to play against us.”

Team: Cooper, Rosiak, Walters, Quamina, Sousa, Lewis-Skelly, Ibrahim, Gower (Nwaneri 58), Cozier-Duberry (Kacurri 86), Ferdinand (Kamara 45), Benjamin.

Arsenal 3-2 Cambridge United
February 23, 2023

Another last-gasp goal saw us once again come from behind to book our place in the final four of the competition.

Things seemed to be going well when Nwaneri drove home at Emirates Stadium, but goals either side of half-time from Josh Robinson and Kai Yearn stunned the crowd as the U's got themselves in front.

However, Cozier-Duberry continued his run of scoring in every round so far by equalising from the penalty spot, and then in stoppage-time, Rosiak popped up with a well-taken winner to secure a semi-final spot.

Wilshere: "We showed that spirit that I keep talking about, a fire that wins you games and we’ve seen that against Newcastle, Watford, and now tonight.

"We need to be better if we want to win the cup, but keep that fire and we will have a great chance. There’s a massive team spirit and unity to the group. It gets us through the tough moments.” 

Team: Cooper, Rosiak, Robinson, Walters, Sousa, Lewis-Skelly, Ibrahim, Nwaneri (Kacurri 90), Ferdinand (Kamara 62), Cozier-Duberry, Benjamin (Gower 80).

Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City (AET)
April 4, 2023

Just like the rest of the run to the final, we booked our spot in it in dramatic circumstances after requiring extra-time to get past Manchester City.

We were handed an early advantage when Laklye Samuel brought down Omari Benjamin when he was through on goal and was red-carded, with Rosiak firing home the resulting free-kick after just six minutes.

Despite having 10 men, City found a way back into the game when Justin Oboavwodou poked home in the second half to force extra-time, and just as the game looked to be heading to penalties, Myles Lewis-Skelly popped up in the 120th minute to head home the winner and spark jubilant scenes in north London.

Wilshere: “Overall we dominated and we deserved it. I’m so glad we won it the way we did. It was special and that’s why everyone loves football, there’s no better feeling.

"The moment when we scored the winner was special and it’s going to live in the memory of the players, staff, and everyone involved with the club."

Team: Cooper, Rosiak, Robinson, Walters, Sousa, Ibrahim, Lewis-Skelly, Gower (Oulad M’Hand 60), Cozier-Duberry, Benjamin (Kamara 80), Nwaneri (Ferdinand 112 [Kacurri 120]).

Make sure you're there to see how the journey concludes by attending the final at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, with tickets available now priced at just £5 for adults and £2 concessions.

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