The Independent London Newspaper
23rd April 2019

Young Guns’ European misfire

    Celebrating Stephy Mavididi’s goal in the team’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea

    Celebrating Stephy Mavididi’s goal in the team’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea. Picture: Arsenal Fc

    Published: 6 October, 2016
    by CHARLIE CORBETT

    WHILE there were celebrations from the Arsenal first team at the weekend, as they scored a dramatic late winner away at Burnley, not all last-gasp goals have been welcomed by the club. 

    In their midweek UEFA Youth League outing, the Gunners Under-19s suffered a 2-1 defeat against FC Basel after conceding a stoppage-time spot-kick at Meadow Park. 

    England midfielder Marcus McGuane admitted afterwards that it was a tough defeat to swallow, but insisted the young guns can learn from the defeat. 

    “It was really gutting, losing with the last kick of the game, especially to a penalty,” he told Arsenal.com. “We have to learn to stay focused throughout the game, for the whole 90 minutes and to just keep on fighting. When we went to 1-1 we should’ve taken advantage and created more opportunities. We kept the ball quite well, but those are things that we can learn from.” 

    After a 0-0 draw in Arsenal’s first match against Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital, it was important Andries Jonker’s team got their European campaign back on track with a win. 

    Those hopes were dealt a blow in the 39th minute, however, when Eray Cumart caught Gunners goalkeeper Hugo Keto off his line to score a stunning free kick from well inside his own half and give FC Basel an unlikely lead going into half-time. 

    It got worse for Arsenal during the interval when they lost captain Krystian Bielik to injury after he collided with the perimeter fence seconds before the break during a strong tackle. 

    The hosts started the second half with good intent and the pressure paid off when midfielder Vlad Dragomir equalised after dribbling past the Basel defence and keeping his cool in front of goal to fire his shot into the roof of the net. 

    Arsenal were now in the ascendancy and looked set to go in front, but strikers Stephy Mavididi and Donyell Malen were both unable to take the chances that came their way. 

    With just seconds left on the clock, disaster struck when Basel were awarded a penalty for handball, which was duly converted by Neftali Manzambi to give the Swiss visitors a shock win. 

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