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Chelsea U19 avenge Barcelona defeat to set up Porto endgame in UEFA Youth League final

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Chelsea U19 lost to Barcelona in last year’s UEFA Youth League final

On the day that Avengers:Endgame arrived in theaters, Chelsea U19 also avenged their snapture against Barcelona in last year’s UEFA Youth League final by eliminating the holders in a most dramatic penalty shootout, after coming from behind twice in regulation.

UEFA have disabled embedding on their official highlights — how is this still a thing in2019? — so you’ll have to click over to YouTube to watch them. Chelsea have (slightly longer) highlights up on the App and the website, also not easily embeddable (again, how is that still a thing in 2019?). At the top, you can see some other highlights easily found on YouTube because official sources are being far too obtuse for 2019.

Anyway.

Luke McCormick continued his amazing form with another goal (that’s three of the last four scored by the team), the first equalizer just past the hour mark, while the ever-wonderfully named Charlie Brown grabbed the second equalizer just minutes from full-time. Both of Barcelona’s goals were scored by one of the latest jewels of La Masia, the 16-year-old Ansu Fati.

Just as in the quarterfinals, goalkeeper Karlo Ziger came up big in the shootout, making the save that confirmed the Blues’ place in Monday’s final, where they will face FC Porto. This will be Chelsea’s fourth UEFA Youth League final, having won two of three so far (2014-15 vs. Shakhtar and 2015-16 vs. PSG). Chelsea and Barcelona both have two titles from this still very new competition’s first five years; we will now have a chance to move to three.

U19s head coach Joe Edwards was rightly pleased. Chelsea’s Academy teams haven’t been quite as dominant this season as in the recent past, but that winning character that is part of the Cobham education has been on full display in the UEFA Youth League campaign.

“We had to show character. We didn’t want to make it too much about last year’s game against them but we did reflect about how you have to suffer at times without possession and how you have to deal with the setbacks when they come along. Our reaction in the second half was outstanding, we dominated the game and were much the better team.”

-Joe Edwards; source: Chelsea FC

One more game to go!