Arsenal now face a struggle to advance from Group Six of the NextGen Series after suffering yet another disappointing away defeat. The Gunners looked ready to settle for sharing the spoils with Marseille after a scrappy affair however they took their mind off the game late on, conceding a devastating last minute winner.
The game started well for Arsenal as they dominated the early midfield possession and after Nico Yennaris did well to earn possession he slotted a ball through into the path of Nigel Neita whose hurried shot went over the bar.
Anthony Jeffrey turned provider for Arsenal’s next big opportunity to take the lead at the Stade Marcel Cerdan but Chuba Akpom was found wanting in the area as his volley went over the bar on connection from the left wing cross.
As the game wore on Marseille started to gain a foothold in proceedings as Emmanuel Loiacono first went close with a Beckham-like free-kick which forced a save from Arsenal stopper Dejan Illiev. Next it was Bila Omrani who went close for the home side as his free-kick whistled just wide of the post. Jeffrey went close for Arsenal but saw his penalty area drive blocked on the line before Marseille had a goal ruled out for offside.
With the game seemingly up and the points shared 17-year-old striker Antoine Kisaku was played through with an incisive pass and he dispatched the ball past a helpless Illiev to claim a dramatic victory and leave Arsenal dumbstruck in defeat.
Arsenal will also feel hard done by, by the pitch which was in a poor condition ahead of the fixture. Considering the competition is supposed to be for the rising stars of football playing on such a poor standard of playing field will make the pill even bitterer to swallow.
The result leaves The Young Gunners on just four points from four games in third place behind Marseille and Olympiacos with a two-games-in-hand Athletic Bilbao the only team below them.
Arsenal’s next game is a must win fixture in Bilbao when they play Athletic at the San Mames on the 15th November.
Here are some Tweets from the despondent players…
worst pitch I've ever played at.worked harder than I've ever done and they score in the last minute.it's hard to not feel sorry for yourself— kristoffer olsson (@krisolsson) October 25, 2012
Lost 1-0 , a lot to be learnt— Chuba Akpom (@Chuba10) October 25, 2012
Thank you to everyone that wished me good luck for the game unfortunately we couldn't get the result today. Learned a lot from today #AFC— Nigel Neita (@Nigel_Neita) October 25, 2012