The Arsenal u18s did just enough to top their u18 Premier League Cup group on Saturday, progressing to the quarter-finals.
The u18 Premier League Cup begins with a group stage of seven groups, with all group winners and just one runner-up progressing to the quarter-finals.
Arsenal went into the final group game against Everton knowing they had no chance of progressing in that runner-up spot, as they only had four points whilst multiple second-place teams in other groups had six.
Instead, the young Gunners needed a win or a draw to finish top.
Dan Micciche put out an interesting side, with the strong addition of Brooke Norton-Cuffy (due to his u23 suspension) and a couple of very young players stepping up in debutant Luis Brown and 15-year-old Myles Lewis-Skelly.
Amani Richards was also making his first u18 start of the season, despite having a positive impact in pre-season, due to the good form of the players ahead of him.
One minute later, it was 2-0, with Richards scoring on his return to the team. Marcelo Flores assisted the goal, as he continues his recent run of goal contributions for club and country.
That turned out to be a misleading start to the game, as Everton grew into it and pulled one back through Martin Sherif before half-time.
Sherif added another soon after the break to set Arsenal nerves jangling, but they held on for the draw to secure their progression into the next round.
Arsenal u18 lineup vs Everton
Mitchell, Norton-Cuffy, Brown, Henry-Francis, Ibrahim, Lewis-Skelly, Bandeira, Cozier-Duberry, Flores, Edwards, Richards
Gaspar (for Richards, 58), Vigar (for Brown, 82), Davies, Kovacevic
While Arsenal wait for the draw for the next round of the cup, the u18s face Chelsea in the u18 Premier League South on Saturday, December 4th at 11:00 GMT.
That’s not set to be an easy game, as Chelsea are currently the league leaders. But they’re only four points ahead of Arsenal in fifth, so it’s a good opportunity to close the gap.