It’s been a rather historic weekend at Chelsea, with no less than two league titles wrapped up in just the matter of hours on Friday.
Two hours before Michy Batshuayi won the Premier League crown for Chelsea, Chelsea U18 were putting the finishing touches on their own league triumph, beating Reading 3-0 to secure first place in the Elite group of the U18 Premier League’s second phase. Chelsea had already won the Southern Section of the first phase of the league to qualify for the Elite group — as to why the U18 Premier League runs a two-stage competition when no other league in England does is unclear, though it perhaps has something to do with travel and expenses.
Regardless, Chelsea U18 won the league, just as they had won the FA Youth Cup a couple weeks prior, completing the Youth Double and setting the example for the first-team to follow in a couple weeks when we take on Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
Under-18 Southern section champions (three in a row)— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) May 12, 2017
FA Youth Cup winners (four in a row)
Under-18 National champions #CFCU18
In the process, the youth team, led by former Chelsea player Jody Morris, set several records, including a new club record for home games unbeaten (extending the run to 41 consecutive matches, dating back to April 2015) and several national records in the FA Youth Cup. @chelseayouth has the full details.
It's been a record-breaking season for #CFCU18...https://t.co/WWyiQ54lLx pic.twitter.com/NnsOFvDUVx— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) May 13, 2017
Just as the first-team’s win on Friday, it wasn’t easy for the U18s either, though most of the wounds were self-inflicted through nerves and sloppy play. The boys settled down around the hour-mark eventually — goalkeeper Jamie Cumming keeping them in it until then — and a quick-fire 15-minute triple salvo from Conor Gallagher, Harvey St Clair, and Mason Mount (remember the name!) was more than enough to secure the win and the title ahead of Arsenal, who surprisingly beat out Manchester City for second place.
The youth have thus doubly ensured qualification for next year’s UEFA Youth League, a competition that they were not allowed to contest this season despite winning it each of the previous two seasons. UEFA rules do not grant a place to the defending champions, while Chelsea failed to qualify for the Champions League (qualification route one) and the youth team did not prioritize the league last year, finishing just third in the final Elite section (qualification route two). Nothing left to chance this year!
Well done, all!