PHOTO: Zelalem stars as Arsenal beat Everton again, in Youth Cup

Gedion Zelalem

Arsenal beat Everton 3-1 in the FA Youth Cup.

Arsenal have dealt Everton their second successive cup exit in a matter of days, their under-18s emerging triumphant in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final.

Goals from Jack Jebb (2) and Chuba Akpom sealed a 3-1 win, with Gedion Zelalem pulling the strings in midfield, in front of 2,700 onlookers.

Akpom (pictured right celebrating a goal against Peterborough in an earlier round) had returned temporarily from a loan spell with Coventry City, as per terms of his agreement which allowed him to feature. The striker had played 90 minutes just days earlier for the Sky Blues, but is still searching for his first League One goal.

Arsenal will face either Newcastle or Chelsea in the semi-finals, in their quest to win the tournament for the first time since 2009.

First team star Kieran Gibbs spoke of the virtues of the tournament ahead of the game, telling "The Youth Cup was a great experience especially when you're young, with the chance to take part in a good competition. I think it's vital for your development."

The under-18s have now matched the first team by progressing to the semi-finals of their cup competition, while Arsenal's under-19 side, containing several of the same players are also in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Youth League, facing Barcelona.

Two-goal hero Jebb, one of whose strikes included a free-kick, also has a goal for the under-19 side to his name this campaign, while Akpom himself has three in that competition.

Arsenal's 2009 FA Youth Cup winning side contained Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin.

image: © Kieran Clarke

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