Arsenal U19’s 1-0 CSKA Moscow U19’s (NextGen Series) – Gunners through to semi-finals


Arsenal’s under 19 side set up a mouthwatering semi-final clash with Chelsea after they beat Russian side CSKA Moscow 1-0 at the Emirates last night.

Many of the club’s rising stars put in great displays last night as 6,600 fans braved the cold conditions to cheer the youngsters through to the semi-finals.

CSKA’s defence was pretty solid throughout, but Arsenal’s Serge Gnabry was a constant threat throughout the game and could have given his side the golden start but his early headed effort went straight into the arms of the grateful goalkeeper. If he had directed it anywhere else, it was in and he’d have been celebrating. Another thing worth commenting on was the quality of the cross from Hector Bellerin to set the chance up. I’d imagine somebody like Olivier Giroud would watch that and wish he was able to play, because he’d have scored that one with ease!.

The Russians went forward on the odd occasion and threatened when Dmitry Efremov was through on goal, but Swiss defender Sead Hajrovic got there just in time to make a crucial block.

German duo Thomas Eisfeld and Serge Gnabry threatened before the break as Arsenal had the better of a goalless first half.

It was the same two players who continued to cause the Russians problems in the second half. Eisfeld fired wide just after the break and Gnabry eventually broke the deadlock 11 minutes into the second half.

The youngster burst forward before finding Bellerin, who spotted Gnabry had continued his run and found him. Gnabry made amends for his earlier miss by tucking this one sweetly into the corner of the net and handing Arsenal a deserved lead. The fans were delighted, as were the players in red.

Serge Gnabry celebrates his winning goal.

The match would be decided on the night. If Arsenal held on, they were through. No tricky away leg in Moscow to get through, it was only a one-legged affair. Another goal would all but kill it off. The Gunners went searching straight away.

Akpom and Eisfeld tested the CSKA keeper before Martin Angha played a one-two with Gnabry and fired his shot at the busy Revyakin. The goalkeeper did enough to keep his side in the game.

Angha came back for more, but once again Revyakin did enough to prevent Arsenal from making the game safe.

Arsenal came even closer in injury time when the impressive Eisfeld rattled the crossbar from a long-range free-kick.

In the end, the hosts didn’t need a second. Their 1 goal was enough to see off the Russians and set up a tasty London derby in the semi-finals. This game will be played on Friday.