Twenty-four hours after Chelsea reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, the U18s followed suit by winning in their fifth round match and reaching the quarterfinals of the FA Youth Cup!
It wasn’t quite as dominant of a performance from the youth at Selhurst Park as it had been by the men’s team at Villa Park, but Hassan Sulaiman’s charges got the job done in the end.
(Like the men’s team, the under-18s have not had the best luck in recent years in this competition. We’ve reached just one final since 2018, and lost in the fourth round last year.
In playing a fourth successive away tie, Chelsea will be doing something they've never done before in the #FAYouthCup. The run so far has seen them overcome three top Cat 1 opposition on the road, a challenge no other Quarter Finalist has faced.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) February 8, 2024
It were the home side who had the better of the play in the first half, with Max Merrick, recently getting named as the third goalkeeper in our League Cup semifinal first leg at Middlesbrough, needing to come up with a couple huge stops. His counterpart in the other goal wasn’t exactly bored either, but Palace were certainly the more disappointed side to be heading into halftime scoreless.
And that was doubly true in the second half, as Chelsea came with much more purpose from the break, generating multiple excellent opportunities before Jimmy-Jay Morgan finally broke the deadlock just past the hour mark. Tyrique George quickly followed that up with a typical banger from distance.
⚽️ TYRIQUE GEORGE— Sébastien (@SebC__) February 8, 2024
Is actually a joke.
Same kind of play than @ Luton. Quick free kick.
Half the Chelsea end already celebrating before even he'd shoot. pic.twitter.com/QF0TAoNr7M
Palace did make things interesting in the final few minutes, but we would hang on (and be made to pay for Morgan missing the empty net for what would’ve been a game-deciding brace).
Still, survive and advance is the name of the game in any Cup competition.
Chelsea will face Millwall, away, in the quarterfinals, which could prove a spicy occasion even if a youth football setting.