Arsenal’s under-19s faced up to Sevilla in their latest UEFA Youth League match, ultimately falling short with a 2-1 loss.

The team’s manager, Mehmet Ali, sees this setback as a learning experience for his young squad.

Here’s what he had to say.arsenal academy hale endArsenal under-19s suffered a 2-1 defeat against Sevilla in the UEFA Youth League, with the team’s manager, Mehmet Ali, emphasising the learning experience garnered from the loss.

Alberto Collado and Jose Antonio Lopez scored for Sevilla in the first half, and Charles Sagoe Jr found the net for Arsenal as a late consolation.

Mehmet Ali provided his observations after the match, saying, “You play in these tournaments and it’s an unbelievable learning for our players to experience different cultures, playing against different teams, and again I just said to the lads in there, unfortunately their style was beating our style.”

Ali further detailed the challenges his team faced: “When you play a team like Sevilla you can’t afford to give sloppy goals away and that’s what we did.

“We had loads of the ball, we were calm, we were patient at times which was good, but they know the dark arts very well, they’re desperate to win and their style beat our style, so it’s frustrating but we’ve got to dust ourselves down and play for pride next time we play them.”

The manager also spoke about Ayden Heaven, a young player who got provoked during the match. “We had one moment with Ayden Heaven where he probably got provoked and lost his head but he’s very young compared to some of the others, but I thought our boys’ attitude and mentality to deal with what they were playing against today, they did that very well and they did keep their composure.

“Unfortunately when you concede two goals against a team like this it’s always hard to get back into the game.”

Charles Sagoe Jr, who recently made an appearance in Mikel Arteta‘s first-team squad during the Carabao Cup win against Brentford, was also a subject of Ali’s post-match comments.

Charles Sagoe Jr (L) playing for Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)
Charles Sagoe Jr (L) playing for Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)

“Charles is very level-headed and he’s desperate to improve and get better. He continues to work hard in training. Of course, playing with the first team has given him a real confidence boost, but he’s kept his head and continues to work hard and I was really pleased that he got his reward with a goal.”

The young Arsenal squad have now been defeated in group stages by PSV Eindhoven, RC Lens, and Sevilla, but Ali insisted there is still much to take away from these experiences.

“It’s been brilliant for them,” he said. “Three different games and they’re very fine margins at this level. Unfortunately we’ve been on the losing side in our three fixtures and that’s difficult to swallow. There’s loads to learn from and so many things that these boys will be picking up playing in this competition.”

In conclusion, Mehmet Ali remained optimistic about the future.

“We’re devastated and disappointed we’ve not done better from the scoreline perspective, but some of the performances the boys have put in have been good, but obviously not good enough and we need to look at ourselves and go again.

“Regardless of whether we’re home or away, knowing this bunch of lads, they’re desperate to do well.

“We’ve got some real good talent and real good individuals. There’s loads to learn and pick up from and they’re getting that exposure, so we’re looking forward to going again, looking at ourselves, seeing how we can improve and the beauty of this tournament is you get to play every team again, so we’re hoping for a better scoreline and performance.”