Arsenal went another NextGen fixture without a goal as they go to their last fixture of the competition needing a win to qualify for the next stage. Meanwhile Marseille and Olympiakos also drew in Group Six action.
The game at the San Mames was dominated Athletic Bilbao’s Guillermo Fernandez but yet again The Gunners failed to capitalise on their opportunities leaving them needing points from their final fixture to qualify. Arsenal have now failed to score goals in their last four NextGen fixtures with their last goal in the competition coming from Chuba Akpom on the 29th August against Marseille.
Bilbao started strongly with Inaki Williams denied early on from Arsenal stopper Reice Charles-Cook. Charles-Cook continued what was a brilliant first half when he turned a penalty round the post from Fernandez after the games most talked about player was fouled in the box.
Fernandez continued to be in the thick of the action when he was sent off after 34 minutes for a deliberate elbow on Arsenal’s Sead Hajrovic.
For all of Arsenal’s possession they again seemed impotent in attack with Serge Gnabry their main attacking threat having his effort saved and then laying on a chance for Martin Yves-Angha which was again stopped by Kepa Arrizabalaga.
There were chances for both teams as the game reached its conclusion but once again Arsenal failed to score and had to settle for a share of the spoils in front of 10,000 in the Basque country.
Luckily the worst case scenario did not come to fruition as Olympiakos could not defeat Marseille. The two sides also shared the points in a 1-1 draw in Greece. Omar Diop gave Marseille the lead after the half-hour mark but the Senegalese’s goal was cancelled out by Nikos Ioannidis.
The Group remains tight with all four teams hoping to qualify for the next round. Bilbao are bottom on four points but have two games in hand over their opponents while Arsenal are third on five points. Marseille lead the way with eight; two ahead of Olympiakos on six points. All the remaining games involve Bilbao with Marseille travelling to Spain and the Basque side having to visit Greece and London in the final three fixtures of the tight group.
Here are some Tweets from the lads…
Dissapointed to not get 3 points from that game! But if we win the last game we go through. Great experience!— kristoffer olsson (@krisolsson) November 15, 2012
Drew 0-0 should've won— Chuba Akpom (@Chuba10) November 15, 2012
How we didn't come away with 3 points I dunno. What an Experience though, onto the next one, #NextGen— Reice Charles- Cook (@ReiceCookieCook) November 15, 2012
image: © birasuegi