Arsenal 0-4 Chelsea (1-7 aggregate): Young gunners battle hard but fall to Chelsea in FA Youth Cup final
PUBLISHED: 21:52 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 22:51 30 April 2018
Arsenal's battling U18s fought all the way in the FA Youth Cup final second leg at the Emirates on Monday night, but fell to nine-time champions Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate.
Goals from Billy Gilmore, Tino Anjorin and a Callum Hudson-Odoi double won Chelsea their ninth Youth Cup, as Kwame Ampadu’s battling Gunners fell victim to the Blue’s lightning counter-attacks in the second-half.
Chelsea came into the second leg having conceded only once in the competition, the goal scored by Gunners forward Xavier Amaechi at Stamford Bridge before the holders cancelled it out with three of their own on Friday night.
So Arsenal had it all to do to as the game kicked-off on a chilly evening as the light faded.
They then had a mountain to climb after 10-minutes, when Chelsea’s Juan Castillo found himself in acres of space down his left flank. The cross was only cleared. to the feet of Gilmore 20-yards out. His shot found the bottom left corner for 4-1 on aggregate.
Jody Morris’ side were in control, with the home side contained from creating a clear cut chance. The visitors went close but last ditch challenges and some impressive Virginia stops retained a glimmer of hope as the 22 talented young players headed in for half-time.
The Gunners had more urgency after the restart and flooded forward in search of a goal to get them back in the tie, but it resulted in little more than some easily dealt with early crosses into the box.
In a devastating counter attack, Chelsea put one hand on the cup with 30-minutes remaining. Dominic Thompson was beaten for pace down the right and the ball was squared to Hudson-Odoi. A few shimmies later, and the ball was in the net for 2-0 and 5-1 on aggregate. The scrambling Arsenal defence collapsed on the grass exhausted.
Chelsea went on to double their lead again, substitute Anjorin netting and Hudson-Odoi grabbing his second of the night, both simple tap-ins from inside the Arsenal penalty area in the 66th and 76th minutes.
With the tie over at 7-1 on aggregate, Arsenal continued to battle as the crowd waited for the final whistle. Impressively, they also continued to put their bodies on the line right to the whistle.
However, the cup was Chelsea’s, as Jody Morris’ side equalled the achievement of Manchester United’s ‘Busby Babes’ in the 1950’s by winning the Youth Cup five times in a row.