A Chelsea under-19 team featuring the likes of Harvey Vale, Lewis Hall, and Xavier Simons (with a combined five first-team appearances between them) were taught a harsh lesson last night in Genk, losing 5-1 in the UEFA Youth League’s first knockout round and bringing our campaign to a crashing end.
While there is no shame in losing to Genk’s famed academy (once home to Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois, and many others), the performance itself was as disappointing as a result. Chelsea conceded early in both halves, then gave up a couple late on after Lewis Hall brought back a glimmer of hope at 3-1 with a penalty conversion. Jayden Wareham hit the woodwork in the first half and Genk’s second goal came from a fairly shocking penalty decision, but Chelsea were largely second best all game.
Full Time: Genk 5-1 #CFCU19. Chelsea exit the UEFA Youth League at the playoff round stage and they do so with one of the most disappointing performances and results they've ever recorded in this competition.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) February 9, 2022
Chelsea are four-time finalists, winning in 2015 and 2016 and losing in 2018 and 2019, but we haven’t come close since. At least we made it out of the group stages unlike in 2019-20. (The competition was canceled last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
It’s not been a banner year for the Academy in terms of results, though we’re still alive in the FA Youth Cup and also going strong in the U18 Premier League.