Arsenal U16 2-5 Chelsea U16: Talented young guns fall to lively Blues in showpiece final
- Credit: Archant
Arsenal U16s took on Chelsea U16s in the Premier League U16 Cup Final. Read on for Layth Yousif’s match report.
Chelsea beat Arsenal to lift the Premier League U16 cup at Meadow Park on Friday evening.
In an open, entertaining game full of excellent technique, pace and endeavour the teenage Blues put the young guns to the sword after a superb first half performance gave the North Londoners too much to do to gain a foothold in the contest.
Lewis Bate put Chelsea ahead before Daniel Ogungbo levelled prior to Jamal Musiala grabbing a brace sandwiched between a Myles Peart-Harris spot-kick put the young Blues 4-1 up and firmly in the driving seat at the interval.
Miguel Azeez pulled a goal back with a long-range strike for 4-2 early in the second half. But despite a far better second half showing from Arsenal the Blues celebrated with silvereware after substitute Jude Soonsup-Bell clinched the victory by scoring the fifth late on.
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Before encountering this impressive Chelsea side the young guns had been in impressive form during this tournament, winning four of their five outings, netting 14 goals in the process.
The talented teens kicked off the group stage with a 4-2 with over Everton thanks to a Yunus Musah double, before slipping to a narrow 5-4 defeat against Fulham.
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Luke Plange and Musah scored in a 2-1 win over West Brom, ensuring progression to the quarter-finals, where Kido Taylor-Hart scored the game’s only goal against Liverpool.
In the semi-finals, Levi Laing, Musah and Taylor-Hart all scored against Brighton to claim a 3-1 away win, booking a place in the prestigious final.
Starlets Musah and Charlie Patino started the match for the Gunners as the latter showed impressive technique, creativity, vision and quick feet in the early stages. However it was the young Blues that took the lead in the through a clinical finish by who slotted past Gunners keeper Graczyk on 16 minutes.
120 seconds later the Arsenal keeper made a neat near post stop from Musiala to prevent the Gunners going 2-0 down.
It was to prove important. Four minutes later Arsenal equalised through a well-aimed header in a crowded box from Ogungbo to make it 1-1.
On 29 minutes Chelsea went ahead through a well-worked goal that cut through the Gunners backline before Joe Haigh combined with Musiala before the latter slotted home to put his side 2-1 up.
It soon became 3-1 when Musiala grabbed his second of the match on 36 minutes after he rose highest to nod home from a corner.
It could have been 4-1 six minutes before the interval when a low drive beat the Graczyk before thudding against his left hand post and away.
The Blues didn’t have to wait long until they moved the score onto four when Peart-Harris scored from the spot.
Six minutes into the second half a cracking long range effort from Azeez pulled a goal back to make it 4-2 after his piledriver flew into the top corner, beating Blues keeper Kelechi Chibueze all ends up.
It was a superb piece of skill, vision and technique from the highly-rated youngster who impressed seasoned observers with his performances this term.
Khayun Edwards replaced the hard-working Billy Vigar before No7 James Sweet was then switched for Omari Hutchinson as the young Guns reshuffled their pack at 4-2 down as they aimed for an improbable comeback.
Despite plenty of endeavour from Arsenal they couldn’t work another goal as the Blues pushed further forward with the mesmerising footwork, power and pace of Sam King Junior threatening the Gunners backline.
As the clock ticked down Chelsea made it 5-2 after Soonsup-Bell scored the final goal of an entertaining evening.