Chelsea have been in good form in the Premier League and will now look to continue that good form in the League Cup quarterfinal on Wednesday against Bournemouth. But the men’s first-team aren’t the only ones going well at the club. Over the last few days, but the U18s as well as the Ladies recorded impressive victories in the FA Youth Cup and FA WSL Cup, respectively.
The latter played this afternoon in the cold December rain of Kingsmeadow, hosting Liverpool in the quarterfinals of the FA WSL Cup (“Continental Tyres Cup”), which is basically the League Cup equivalent for the Women’s Super League. Unlike the men’s version, the women’s competition starts with a group stage, which Chelsea navigated with aplomb, before reverting a single-elimination knockout format. The quarterfinals were the first step in that process and Chelsea showed no mercy in dispatching the visiting Reds 5-1, with Super Fran Kirby notching a hat-trick and Ramona Bachmann and Erin Cuthbert adding one each before a sixth, from the returning Eni Aluko, was ruled out for offside. Liverpool managed to run the Blues close in the league earlier in the season (just a 1-0 win for the defending spring series champions), but Chelsea were up three inside of 25 minutes in this one and never looked back, joining fellow favorites Manchester City, as well as Arsenal and Reading in the final four.
Unfortunately, there are no highlights of this (untelevised) game, which is hardly uncommon for the women’s game and something that is truly holding it back from gaining a wider audience.
Sadly, there are no highlights of Chelsea U18s opening game of this year’s FA Youth Cup either, with the Baby Blues dispatching Scunthorpe 4-0 thanks to another star-making turn from Callum Hudson-Odoi. A name to remember for the future, to be sure.
Callum Hudson-Odoi now has 10 goals and 7 assists in 12+2 appearances this season (U23, U19 and U18 football). #CFC— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) December 15, 2017
But despite the impressive scoreline, Chelsea U18s were just as wasteful as their senior counterparts have been of late and while the game was never not comfortable, Chelsea’s advantage was only increased beyond a slim one-goal lead in the final 15 minutes. Fielding a strong lineup — Ethan Ampadu dropped down from the senior squad to start, for example — Chelsea made sure not to join the ranks of the shockingly already eliminated, like last year’s finalists and Chelsea’s closest rivals, Manchester City, who lost to Plymouth Argyle on penalties the day before.
A strong start to the campaign then, as Chelsea look to continue dominating with a fifth (5th!) consecutive trophy in this competition.