As it happened: City's youngsters beat ten-man Gunners to seal FA Youth Cup final spot

As it happened: City's youngsters beat ten-man Gunners to seal FA Youth Cup final spot
Photo source: arsenal.com
Arsenal
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Manchester City

Unfortunately that's all we have time for this evening. We hope you have enjoyed VAVEL UK's live coverage of this Youth Cup semi-final tie tonight - I've been Sam Smith, thanks for following. 

Donyell Malen's late equaliser on the night was not enough as City edge through to the final - 3-4 on aggregate. Marc Bola's red card with fifteen minutes remaining had a huge impact on Arsenal's bid to find another goal. Jason Wilcox's youngsters will find out who their final opponents will be on Friday when Chelsea face Blackburn Rovers. 

90+6' - FULL TIME! Manchester City are through to their second successive youth cup final!

90+5' - Huge chance! Sheaf's great free-kick is almost diverted in by Bielik, but the central defender can't connect properly just in front of goal!

90+4' - Dilroysun has the chance to kill the game off - through on goal, but smashes the ball wide!

Five minutes added on.

90' - Big decision from the referee: Grimshaw waits for Malen to close him down before picking up the ball - but he's picked it up outside the area. Ref only gives a yellow card as it was not deemed a goalscoring opportunity. Ben Sheaf's ultimate free-kick is saved well by the Manchester City goalkeeper. Arsenal are furious that the goalkeeper was not sent-off!

89' - Manchester City are holding the ball out wide as close to the corner flag as possible at every opportunity. 

84' - Arsenal sub: Ben Sheaf replaces Chiori Johnson.

83' - Manchester City sub: Jacob Davenport is replaced by Marcus Wood. 

84' - Nmecha goes through on goal, but his effort from a tight angle is weak and Keto holds onto the ball. 

81' - Fantastic defending from Arsenal left-back Robinson, who slides in to prevent Brahim Diaz a tap-in. 

The Arsenal centre-back appeared to slip as he went to commit to a sliding challenge on Rodney Kongolo, but his studs were high on the Ciy man's shin and he has no complaints. 

74' - RED CARD - Marc Bola is sent-off for Arsenal!

71' - Great cross from City right-back Oliver is put behind for a corner by Johnson. Corner is cleared by Bielik. 

66' - Manchester City changes: Kigbu and and Garcia are replaced by Latibeaudiere and Dilrosun. 

More on goal: Malen heads in a corner just two minutes after coming on. Arsenal have just under half an hour to take the game into extra time. 

62' - GOAL! Immediate impact from Malen - he's made it 2-2!

60' - Arsenal make their changes on the hour: Ismael Bennacer and Stephy Mavididi are replaced by Marcus McGuane and Donyell Malen. 

Marcus McGuane and Donyell Malen preparing to come on for Arsenal. 

55' - Off the line! Corner falls to Kongolo once again, the ball beats Keto but Hinds slides across the ground to steer the ball away from goal!

55' - Bennacer loses the ball on the halfway line, Nmecha breaks forward, gets the better of Bielik, and sets up Kongolo, but his effort is tipped over by Keto.

52' - Arsenal want a penalty here - Mavididi turns away from Adarabioyo excellently and the City skipper brings the striker down but the referee turns away the protests! Definite foul, although looked outside the box. 

51' - Arsenal fail to clear after good work from Garcia, and the ball is eventually teed up for Davenport whose effort curls just wide of the right-hand post. A goal would settle the tie for the Citizens. 

47' - Mavididi wins a free-kick in a dangerous crossing position after a foul from Humpreys. Cross is straight into Grimshaw's hands once again. 

46' - Manchester City get us underway for the second half. 

Second half is imminent. Can Arsenal turn the tie around or will Manchester City go through to their second successive FA Youth Cup final? We'll find out in just 45 minutes. 

In very similar fashion to the first-leg, Arsenal took an early lead through the excellent Chris Willock, but the Citizens have responded well and have a 2-1 lead thanks to Brahim Diaz and Rodney Kongolo. Aggregate score is currently Arsenal 2-4 Manchester City. Remember, away goals do not count so Arsenal need to score twice without reply in the second half to take the game into extra-time. 

45+2' - Half-time.

45' - two minutes to be added on to the first-half. City have been comfortable in the last five minutes. 

42' - Bennacer attempts a cross from a free-kick from the right, but once again - Grimshaw holds easily. 

40' - Reine-Adelaide joins the attack for the first time in the game; he has a shot from around 25-yards which is deflected and Grimshaw grabs the ball at the second attempt. 

Manchester City changed formation around ten minutes ago to contain the threat of Arsenal's forwards and the tie has swung in their favour since that tactical switch. 

More on goal: Quick free-kick from Manu Garcia puts Rodney Kongolo through on goal, and the midfielder finishes low beyond Keto. Arsenal have a mountain to climb to get back into the tie. 

32' - GOAL! City have a 4-2 lead on aggregate!

31' - better cross this time from the Arsenal left-back finds Reiss Nelson, but the winger cannot generate enough power to beat Grimshaw. 

30' - More good play from Willock releases Robinson, but the full-backs cross is poor. 

27' - Manchester City break from a poor Bennacer free-kick, but Chris Willock chases back and produces an expertly-timed slide tackle on Nemane. Willock has been outstanding so far for Arsenal. 

25' - Big chance for Hinds who receives a pass from Reine-Adelaide and advances through on goal, dinks the ball over Grimshaw - but the ball hits the side netting!

23' - Excellent pass by Brahim sends Kigbo down the left but he eventually fouls Johnson. 

That goal means Manchester City currently lead 2-3 on aggregate. Chelsea and Blackburn contest the second semi-final on Friday.

More on goal: Superb cross from Nemane causes trouble in the Arsenal box and the ball ends up bouncing up to the head of Brahim who heads against the bar and just over the line. Goal line technology at work. 1-1. 

17' - GOAL! Brahim Diaz has equalised!

12' - Good close control from Hinds gets him past Jacob Davenport, and the City midfielder is forced to bring the Gunners attacker down. 

9' - more good play by Willock - who went on tour to Asia with the first team in the summer - delivers a cross but Mavididi can't jump above Adarabioyo to divert the ball into the goal. Arsenal on top by far. 

7' - Almost another goal for Arsenal as Hinds gets in behind and forces a save from Grimshaw. 

More on goal: Excellent high pressing from Arsenal's midfield sees the ball won by Chris Willock, who cuts inside and places the ball into the corner. Another early goal for the Gunners in this tie. 

6' - GOAL! 1-0 to Arsenal!

5' - first chance for Arsenal as Reiss Nelson plays in Hinds, but the forward is dragged wide by the City defence and his effort across goal is held by Grimshaw in the City goal. 

3' - Diaz works space down the line for Manchester City, but Chiori Johnson defends well and Hugo Keto collects the ball.

1' - Kick-off!

Bielik and Adarabioyo captain the respective sides tonight. Teams are in the tunnel and kick-off is imminent. 

Just under 25 minutes until kick-off at Emirates stadium. Manchester City lead 2-1 from the first leg. If the score is level at the end of normal time - we will go to extra-time and should the score remain level after the additional 30 minutes, we go to a penalty shoot-out. 

Manchester City substitutes: Haug, Latibeaudiere, Wood, Fernandes, Dilrosun. 

Arsenal substitutes: Virginia, Sheaf, McGuane, Da Graca, Malen.

Manchester City team: Grimshaw, Humphreys, Kigbu, Adarabioyo, Oliver, Davenport, Kongolo, M.Garcia, Nemane, Nmecha, Brahim.

Arsenal team: Keto, Johnson, Bielik, Bola, Robinson, Bennacer, Reine-Adelaide, Nelson, Hinds, Willock, Mavididi.

We have confirmed team news...

Stay tuned for more updates, including team line-ups and manager comments, as we build up to the second-leg of this season’s FA Youth Cup tie between Arsenal and Manchester City.

Manchester City key players: Many of last season’s runner-up side have moved up to a higher level at the club, most notably first team striker Kelechi Iheanacho, so the squad has some fairly new faces this year. First-leg goal scorers Lukas Nmecha and Isaac Buckley have a combined 34 goals in all competitions, while centre-back and captain Tosin Adarabioyo made his first team debut in the 5-1 FA Cup fifth round defeat to Chelsea.

Arsenal key player: Jeff Reine-Adelaide scored the opening goal in the first leg, and will once again prove to be a handful for Manchester City. Signed from RC Lens in the summer in a multi-million-pound deal, Reine-Adelaide has played much of the season in the under-21 team. However, due to still being eligible to play in the Youth Cup, Arsenal have used the France youth international and he has two goals so far in the competition. Reine-Adelaide made his first team debut in the senior version of the competition in Arsenal’s 3-1 win against Sunderland, while also appearing in the Emirates Cup in pre-season. Notable mentions also go to forwards Donyell Malen and Edward Nketiah, as well as midfielder Ben Sheaf.

Arsenal starlet Jeff Reine-Adelaide has made first team appearances since his summer arrival | Photo: Getty images
Arsenal starlet Jeff Reine-Adelaide has made first team appearances since his summer arrival | Photo: Getty images

Manchester City have previously come under criticism for the apparent lack of care in the youth team, but following heavy investment in the academy – including a new stadium and state-of-the-art training facilities – they are finally reaping the benefits. The citizens’ youngsters have had a vastly successful season in both league and cup competitions; Jason Wilcox’s side have breezed past Portsmouth, Leeds United, Wigan Athletic and Norwich City to get to the semi-final. The Sky Blues have won the competition twice – in 1986 and 2008 – but have been runners-up on five occasion – the highest in the competitions history – with the latest defeat coming in last season’s edition of the competition, losing 5-2 on aggregate to a strong Chelsea side.

The Gunners’ youngsters have had an indifferent season in the league, but have had to overcome some tough challenges in the cup to reach the semi-final. Frans de Kat’s side convincingly beat West Brom 4-1 in the third round, before going on to defeat Swansea City, Coventry City and Liverpool. Overall, Arsenal are seven-times champions of the FA Youth Cup, although they have not won the competition since 2009 – a team that included current Arsenal first team player and England international, Jack Wilshere. They have finished on the losing side in the final on just one occasion, in 1965.

As is the rule in the competition, the game will be played at the first team ground – Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. The Emirates, situated in North London, holds just over sixty-thousand people and, although the ground will not be full, playing in front of a large crowd can be a great experience for the developing young footballers.

The Citizens currently hold a 2-1 lead from the first leg at the Manchester City Academy Arena. Exciting Arsenal summer signing, Jeff Reine-Adelaide gave the visitors a four-minute lead, but goals from Lukas Nmecha and Isaac Ricketts-Buckley gifted last season’s runners-up a slender advantage heading into the second leg.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK’s live minute-by-minute coverage of this season’s FA Youth Cup semi-final second-leg between Arsenal and Manchester City. Stay tuned for live updates with your host, Sam Smith