On loan striker Chuba Akpom starred for Arsenal’s Under 19s side this afternoon as they crashed out of the UEFA Youth League 4-2 to Barcelona at the quarter-final stage.
As per Akpom’s loan, where the young striker returns to his parent club for FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League matches; Arsenal started the match at the Mini Estadi brightly with Akpom winning the visitors a penalty when he cleverly turned his defender, drawing the foul in Barcelona’s box.
Arsenal captain Kristoffer Olsson however struck the post from 12 yards and shortly after Barcelona took the lead through the UEFA Youth League top scorer Munir El Haddadi.
Just two minutes before half time however Arsenal were level when Serge Gnabry scored.
Arsenal weren’t on level terms however as just five minutes into the second half as Adama Traore slotted between the legs of Arsenal’s goalkeeper after being put through one-on-one.
Barcelona then looked to add a third when El Haddadi won a penalty, with goalkeeper Deyan Iliev sent off but Elohor Godswill blazed his penalty over the bar, the second of the match to be missed.
With under ten minutes remaining Akpom scored an equaliser after a good burst forward by Arsenal’s left back. Despite being reduced to ten men, Arsenal continued to play well but Barcelona substitute Wilfird Kaptoum scored in the 88th minute and Traore added a fourth in the 89th minute, his second of the match.
Akpom will now only return to Arsenal for the remaining FA Youth Cup semi-final first at Chelsea on Saturday (22nd March) with the second leg being played on Saturday, April 5th. The two dates for the final first and second legs are yet to be confirmed, should Arsenal advance.