Ground #: 105 (2nd visit)
Ground: Stamford Bridge
Competition: FA Youth Cup Final 1st Leg
Kick Off: 7pm
Chelsea Youth 4
Chalobah 20’, Baker 28’, Feruz 60’, 69’
Blackburn Rovers Youth 0
PREVIOUS VISITS: 31/12/11 – Chelsea 1-3 Aston Villa (English Premiership)
Nice bit of symmetry here for The Travelling Fan as two years ago I saw Blackburn vs Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup Semi-Final when Chelsea took a 1-0 win back to Stamford Bridge. They went on to win the trophy that season and after beating Man Utd in the Semi-Final, they were probably favourites to do the same again.
Was sat in the Shed again after waiting too long for an East Stand ticket and while it was fairly strange seeing Stamford Bridge with less than 4,000 inside, both sides played excellent football. It was also good to see future Scotland star (we can hope!!) Islam Feruz in action before he goes onto bigger and better things. FA.com’s match report below:
“Chelsea made big strides towards lifting The FA Youth Cup this season, with a comprehensive victory over Blackburn Rovers in the first-leg of The Final at Stamford Bridge on Friday evening. Two goals in the first-half from captain Nathaniel Chalobah and Lewis Baker put them in control, before a brace from Islam Feruz after the break was enough to give Adi Viveash’s team a solid advantage ahead of the second-leg at Ewood Park in early May.
Whilst the scoreline may suggest the home side dominated this game, that wasn’t always the case and they had goalkeeper Jamal Blackman to be grateful to on several occasions, with the England U19 international making a number of good saves to earn a his side a clean sheet.
It was a bright start to the game too, with Chelsea’s Todd Kane testing Rovers ‘keeper Matthew Urwin early on, after cutting in from the right and striking a left-footer at goal. Fortunately for Blackburn, Urwin was down quickly to his left to turn it behind for a corner. Blackman bettered that at the other end moments later though, as a slip from Nathan Ake allowed Hugo Fernandez to cross for Curtis Haley in the box. He controlled instantly on his chest before firing a close range volley at goal, but Blackman was well placed to make a fine reaction save to keep the scores level.
It was the hosts who took the lead after 20 minutes though, when Chalobah nicked the ball just outside the area before feeding it to Amin Affane on the right. The Blues skipper swiftly made his way into the area from there and was granted the freedom of Stamford Bridge from the resulting cross, to head past Urwin into the bottom corner. Chelsea added a second in the 28th minute and it was a fine strike to boot. This time, it was Lucas Piazon who provided the ammunition, laying off from inside the box to Baker, who struck an unstoppable right-foot shot past Urwin and into the top corner.
Blackburn nearly had a goal back five minutes later, as another of their well-worked corner routines found its way to captain Ryan Edwards at the far post. His header looked to have enough power to sneak home, but again Blackman was to Chelsea’s rescue with another good save.
On the hour mark Chelsea added a third goal with Chalobah sliding a pass through the middle and into space. Feruz was onto it in a flash and slotted past Urwin to put his side firmly in control. The Scotland U17 striker didn’t have to wait much longer for a second goal either, as Piazon skipped around Fernandez before picking out Feruz in the box and he got to the ball first to poke it past Urwin.
Blackman was called upon once more, seconds from full-time as he made a decent save to deny Osayamen Osawe what would have been a lifeline for Rovers ahead of the second leg on 9 May.” (Taken from HERE)
It seems certain now that Chelsea will win the FA Youth Cup this season unless Blackburn pull off an almighty performance next week. Good luck to both sides!
- Match: 6.5/10 (reasonable)
- Value for money: 7/10 (£5 is good value)
- Ground: 7/10 (hasn’t changed since I was last here!)
- Atmosphere: 4/10 (very little)
- Food: N/A – Don’t be silly
- Programme: 5.5/10 (average FA effort, not worth £2)
- Referee: Lee Probert – 8/10 (very good game)