Seven goals (over the two legs of the semifinal) without reply. Three away, four at home. It could’ve been more. Jody Morris didn’t even play his strongest side. Chelsea hit the woodwork three times.
Seventh consecutive FA Youth Cup finals appearance (winning five of the six so far, including the last four). Manchester United’s famed Busby Babes won five in a row; Chelsea now have the opportunity to match that.
No team has ever won the #FAYouthCup without conceding a goal along the way. Chelsea have the opportunity to do just that this season, having scored 26 without reply in their six ties to date in 2017-18. #CFC #CFCU18— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) April 10, 2018
Seventh heaven for the new class of Chelsea youth, who just continue to materialize seemingly out of thin air every year to dominate their respective U18 and U19 competitions.
Some names are already familiar. McEachran (George, this one, not Josh), Uwakwe, Panzo, Guehi, Taylor-Crossdale, Gilmour (the only one in this list to have joined just recently) have made headlines already though they’re all small fish compared to the scintillating Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has already made his Premier League debut and collected four senior appearances and is clearly far too good for this youth level. But he’s just 17. He won the U18 Double last season at just age 16.
Hudson-Odoi of course did not materialize out of thin air. He materialized out of hard work and natural talent that he’s developed with Chelsea’s guidance since joining the setup at the U8 level. That’s the most impressive part of the Blues’ continued success at this level — the players who joined a decade ago, when Cobham was still brand spanking shiny new, having worked their way up the ranks to now shine on the biggest stages of their careers (both for Chelsea and England as well). Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek, Abraham, Solanke, Baker, Chalobah (and Mount and Sterling and ...) etc— the future is bright for all of them even if that future won’t necessarily be at Chelsea.
That latter bit is always cause for consternation of course, but that’s another topic for another day.
For now, it’s these kids who are once again set to carry on the club’s winning tradition. Granted, they have not won the FA Youth Cup or the UEFA Youth League or the U18 Premier League for this season just yet. But would you bet against them?
After Hudson-Odoi opened the scoring on Tuesday with a stellar free-kick, the wonderfully named Charlie Brown made it two (his 20th of the season) and the wonderfully haired Tariq Uwakwe added the icing on the cake after C.H-O grabbed his brace.
CHELSEA V BIRMINGHAM - FA YOUTH CUP SEMI-FINAL LIVE!
Chelsea Under-18s are currently 4-0 up against Birmingham in the FA Youth Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge!Posted by Chelsea Football Club on Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Chelsea will meet the winner of Arsenal U18 vs. Blackpool U18 in the as yet unscheduled two-legged final. Those two play the second leg of their semifinal next Monday.
Meanwhile, Morris’s Mites have three games left in the first phase of the U18 Premier League, the defending champions having already secured the South division’s crown ahead of the second phase, which will pit the top four from North and South in a mini-league to determine the overall winner.
But before all that, Chelsea U19 will take on FC Porto in the single-elimination UEFA Youth League semifinal a week from this Friday at Nyon, with the winner moving on to
Sunday’s Monday’s final against either Manchester City or Barcelona. That same day, the first-team will be playing against Southampton in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley and the Chelsea Ladies will be taking on Wolfsburg in the first leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinal. It could indeed be a most super of Super Sundays (though slightly less super after learning that the Youth League final is actually on Monday — booo!).