Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal: Young guns give their all against talented Blues in FA Youth Cup Final first leg
- Credit: Archant
Kwame Ampadu’s Arsenal young guns took on Chelsea U18s in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup final at Stamford Bridge on Friday evening.
Joao Virginia: 7.5 - Patrolled his area well after an onslaught in the opening 30 minutes. Showed good handling. Not afraid to punch if required. Good footwork. Excellent organiser as befits such a vocal presence. Excellent reflexes too after turning a vicious curling free kick around his left hand post from the huge Chelsea prospect Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Vontae Daley-Campbell: 7 - The right back showed character in battling with the dangerous Callum Hudson-Odoi throughout.
Dominic Thompson: 7 - Knew he was in for a difficult night after a matter of seconds after Chelsea right back Tariq Lamptey burst through and was dragged down inches outside the box. Showed immense character to keep battling – but could he have been stronger when attempting to thwart Redan for the equaliser?
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Robbie Thompson: 7 – Battled throughout. Never stopped running for the cause as a shield in front of the defence.
Danny Ballard (captain): 7.5 - Captain. Leader. And hopefully an Arsenal legend one day. Wonderful to see the Stevenage-born centre-half put his body on the line for the Arsenal time and time again.
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Zech Medley: 6 - Went down with cramp moments before Chelsea’s Marc Guehi headed home from a matter of yards out. A real shame as Medley’s presence was missed during the crucial set piece. His night got worse after a mistake following a Tino Anjorin cross allowed Redan in to score his second of the night
James Olayinka: 7 - A powerful presence against a difficult foe who flooded forward. Struggled to break up play in the centre of the park at times
Matthew Smith: 7 - Another who put in a shift and deserved his ovation after being substituted.
Tyreece John-Jules: 7 - Not as influential as he would have liked but still put in a shift on a difficult night.
Emile Smith Rowe: 8 - Good to see him drive forward as the talented Croydon-born attacking midfielder showed his ability after he and his colleagues weathered an intense early storm. Sublime through ball to feed Amaechi for the goal
Xavier Amaechi: 8.5 - Showed terrific touch to control a cross in the box before turning and firing in a single movement. Great technique and a calm head after lifting the ball over onrushing Chelsea keeper Jamie Cumming to put the Gunners ahead
Trae Coyle: 6 – On for Smith Rowe
Joe Oluwu: 6 – On for the disappointing Medley late on