Chelsea advantage after FA Youth Cup first leg win
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For a short period on Friday evening, after Xavier Amaechi’s superb lobbed finish over Jamie Cumming shattered Chelsea’s previously unblemished defence record in the FA Youth Cup, it seemed like the unthinkable would happen and Chelsea would lose at the final hurdle. Having dominated in the competition, Jody Morris’s Blues were going for a fifth successive title, only achieved once before in the lofty history of the tournament. The team to do it? Manchester United’s legendary Busby Babes who lit up Manchester in the late 50s. Whilst it is far too early to suggest that Chelsea’s continued dominance in this competition will bear as many fruits at senior level when compared to Duncan Edwards et. al., it is certainly fair to say every other club in England pales far behind Chelsea’s youngsters at this level. However, before the First Leg, there was a strange sense of the Young Lions licking their wounds. Having been comprehensively beaten by Abel Ruiz’s Barcelona in the UEFA Youth League Final on Monday, Reece James’ boys were looking to bounce back. The first five minutes at Stamford Bridge felt like a training exercise, Kwame Ampadu’s Arsenal outfit were unable to get close to their West London counterparts. George McEachran, Billy Gilmour and Callum Hudson-Odoi buzzed furiously, but a red defence stewarded by ex-Chelsea man Zech Medley stood firm. Charlie Brown, the latest in the long line of clinical Chelsea Youth forwards missed a glorious chance when McEachran played him in before Tariq Uwakwe spurned two opportunities at the far post. Joao Virginia, the Portuguese Arsenal shot-stopper denied Hudson-Odoi a chance of scoring in the final for the second year running as he tipped away a curling, dipping free kick.
Ungry Young Man / brent flanders
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