by Andrew Crawshaw
This semi-final is to be played over two legs, home and away. The first leg is at the Manchester City Academy Arena on Friday evening with a 19:00 kick off. The second leg is set for Monday 4 April 19:45 probably at the Emirates (this will be confirmed once it is determined that we will have no further interest in the Champions League).
In order to reach the semi-final Arsenal have played the following games :-
Third Round – 4 Dec 2015 – Arsenal (4) v West Brom (1)
Goals from Reine-Adelaide (15), Sheaf (25), Malen (75) and Mavididi (90) were enough to seal a comfortable victory at Meadow Park against West Brom (for whom Barbir scored in min 86). A fast start from the young Gunners led to us dominating early on and scoring twice in the first 25 minutes.
The West Brom keeper, Hall, doing well to keep the halftime score at just the two goals with a couple of fine saves to deny Sheaf firstly froma whipped in free kick and then from a penalty. The second half was more measured for pace but Malen made sure of the points scoring our third goal in the 75th minute. The teams exchanged late goals, our defence allowing Barbir to score from the back post before Mavididi restored the three goal advantage within 3 minutes of coming on as a substitute.
Arsenal Keto, Robinson, Willock, Bola, Malen (87), McGuane, Reine Adelaide, Sheaf, Hinds, De Graca, Bennacer
Subs – Mavididi (87), Nelson (60), Eyoma, Philips, Bola
Fourth Round – 15 Jan 2016 – Swansea City (1) v Arsenal (3)
Goals from Malen (24), Reine Adelaide (25), and Mavididi (84) enabled the U18s to win against Swansea (for whom Cullen scored in the 35th minute).
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Swansea started better in this game and Keto was required to make a good save in the early minutes. Arsenal then got into their stride with two goals in two minutes but Cullen pulled one back ten minutes later. The big talking point happened just before the half time whistle when Robinson was given a straight red card for an altercation with James. The highlights video on Arsenal Player not surprisingly is very short on the details. The dismissal forced a change at the start of the second half with dutch Striker Malen being replaced by Centre-back Da Graca.
Not surprisingly with their man advantage Swansea had by far the better of the second half and for much of the second half it was a case of Arsenal hanging on. Against the run of play Arsenal scored in the 84th minute with Swansea keeper Thomas requiring medical attention.
Arsenal Keto, Sheaf (64), Bielik, M Bola, Robinson, McGuane, Bennacer, Reine Adelaide, Mavididi, C Willock (90+7), Malen (46)
Subs Da Graca (46), Nelson (64), Mourgos (90+7), Philips, Eyoma
Fifth Round – 15 Feb 2016 – Coventry City (2) v Arsenal (2) Arsenal won 7 – 6 on penalties
Hugo Keto proved to be the hero of the hour as Arsenal survived a very tense penalty shoot out after 120 grueling minutes. He made no fewer than three saves as Arsenal eventually triumphed 7 – 6.
During normal time both sides scored in the first half Hickman for Coventry in min 24 and Robinson equalising in Min 33. Arsenal had the better chances in the second half but were unable to score so we went into extra time. Nothing much happened in the first half but Malen evaded his markers to put us in front at the start of the second half.
Penalties ensued when Sambou with about the last kick of the game flicked the ball past Keto for the Coventry equaliser. The penalty shootout was dramatic Arsenal prevailing 7 – 6 after Keto’s three saves.
Arsenal Keto, Johnson, Bielik, M Bola, Robinson (51), McGuane (105), Bennacer, Nelson, Reine Adelaide, C Willock, Mavididi (75)
Subs da Graca (51), Malen (75), Sheaf (105), Phillips, Hind
Quarter Final – 4 Mar 2016 – Arsenal (2) v Liverpool (1)
In a game played at the Emirates, all of the goals came in a seven minute period in the second half, Mavididi opened the scoring in Min 51 before Masterson equalised three minutes later. Hinds scored the winner in Min 58. Arsenal were the better side throughout and Liverpool were only equal at halftime thanks to several good saves by George and the crossbar.
Liverpool by contrast made the better start in the second half with a diving header from Gomes just wide of the post. Soon however Arsenal were in front, a corner from Reine Adelaide wasn’t properly cleared and Mavididi scored from close range.
The lead was short lived as Masterton equalised three minutes later following a series of unkind deflections (and a lapse in concentration). Our lead was soon restored with Hinds scoring at the back post from a cross by Robinson. George saved Liverpoolwith another save to deny Mavididi a second but the extra goal wasn’t needed.
Arsenal Keto, Sheaf, Bielik, M Bola, Robinson, McGuane, Bennacer, Reine Adelaide, Hinds, C Willock (90), Mavididi (81)
Subs Virginia, Da Graca, Dasilva, Nelson (90), Malen (81)
Manchester City arrived at this stage following these games
- Third Round Portsmouth (1) v City (2)
Goals from Nmecha and Diaz for City but I can’t find a post game review on the City Website.
- Fourth Round – Leeds (2) v City (5)
Goals from Nmecha (18 and 59), Adarabioyo (37, Kongolo (55 and 69) were more than enough to been Leeds fro whom samiento scored an og and Knight a pen in Min88.
City Grimshaw, Duhaney, Oliver, Adarabioyo, Sarmiento, Davenport, Kongolo(72), Patching, Dilrosun, Nmecha (60), Nemane (60)
Subs Huag, Kigbu, Wood (72), Buckley (60) Brahim (60)
- Fifth Round 31 Jan 2016 Wigan Athletic (1) v City (3)aet
Lang opened the scoring for Wigan in the second half before Patching equalised taking the game into extra time. Nmecha scored a penalty deep into added on time at the end of the first half and Buckley made the game safe in extra time at the end of the game.
City Grimshaw, Baxendale, Burke, Stubbs, Lingard, Gregory (115), lang, Burgess, Plant (110), Merrie, Sang (86) Barrigan
Subs Beaumont (115), Plant (110), Powell (86), Roberts, Taylor
- Quarter Final 29 Feb 2016 City (2) v Norwich (0)
Goals from Diaz (19) and Garcia (73). City pretty much on top throughout the game and had several good chances to extend their lead burt were denied by good keeping from Oxborough
City Grimshaw, Duhaney, Adarbioyo, Humphreys, Sarmiento, (70), Davenport, Garcia (87), Wood (87), Kongolo, Buckley, Brahim (83)
Subs Huag, Patching, Oliver (70), Wood (87), Nemane (83)
A chance for Arsenal young guns to put their poor recent league form behind them with a good away win in Manchester. The side is likely to feature a number of regular members of the U21 squad. Possible line up 4-2-3-1
GK – Keto
Defence – Sheaf (or Johnson), Bielik, Bola, Robinson
D Mid – McGuane Bennacer
A Mid – Reine Adelaide, Mavididi, C Willock
Striker – Malen
Main man to watch in the City team – Nmecha (scores a lot of goals)
Main threat for Arsenal – a repeat of their tendency to lose concentration in defence (where have we heard that before I wonder).
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Just published by the Arsenal History Society:
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16 March 1926: Without any funding or backing, Robert Goddard launched the first pressure fed rocket that burned petrol and liquid oxygen. It was a phenomenally simple device (which is why it needed no funding), but ever since people have for some extraordinarily bizarre reason been saying of very simple things, “it’s not rocket science,” whereas what they mean is, “it’s as simple as rocket science.”
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