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Chelsea U19 progress to the UEFA Youth League second round play-offs

Woo!

Chelsea FC U19 v Juventus U19: UEFA Youth League Photo by Filippo Alfero - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Chelsea U19 have progressed to the second round of the UEFA Youth League with a 1-1 draw against Zenit St. Petersburg’s youth team, and the elements as well, earlier today. Centre back Alfie Gilchrist opened the scoring early in the second half in -12ºC conditions, and while Zenit hit back soon after, the draw was sufficient enough to ensure second place in the group and a spot in the next stage of the competition.

This wasn’t our most convincing performance, but we got the job done in what turned out to be a very strong group. Both Malmö and Zenit boast talented youth squads, and the current Juventus team are considered generational-tier good. Chelsea’s progression is even more impressive considering that the U19 teams of Porto, Manchester City, RB Leipzig, Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have all been eliminated from the competition.

UYL Group H standings

Chelsea named a strong starting lineup in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Harvey Vale, Jude Soonsup-Bell, Charlie Webster and Joe Haigh all featuring, while Fiabema and Malik Mothersille were available to provide additional firepower from the bench. Fiabema leads the team in scoring in this competition with 3. Silko Thomas and Edwin Andersson top the assists chart with 3 each.

Chelsea U19 will now enter the draw for the playoffs as a seeded team, and will face a team from the Domestic Champions pathway in a one-legged tie in order to reach the last 16. (Group winners had advanced to the Round of 16 directly.)