Chelsea Under-19s are into the final of this season’s UEFA Youth League after beating Barcelona Under-19s 5-4 on penalties in their semi-final tie at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland this evening.
The two sides were tied at 2-2 after 90 minutes but Chelsea were the ones to create history by winning the shootout to qualify for their second consecutive UEFA Youth League final.
It was the Spaniards who started the match the brighter of the two sides and Juan Miranda forced an excellent save out of Blues keeper Karlo Ziger within the opening five minutes before he got down quickly to deny Monchu from netting with the rebound.
Jospeh Colley then went close for Chelsea from a corner kick but saw his effort hacked off the line before Barcelona broke the deadlock when Konrad De La Fuente’s low cross was tapped in by Anssumane Fati at the back post.
The Spanish giants had a couple of half-chances to add to their lead before the break but Chelsea held on as they remained in touch with their opponents.
The second half saw Ziger save Miranda and De Le Fuente efforts as Barcelona looked to extend their lead.
Chelsea’s greatest goalscoring threat seemed to be from midfielder Luke McCormick and the player tested opposing keeper Arnau Tenas on three occasions with a flurry of efforts on goal. It was McCormick who was to level matters for The Blues when Daishawn Redan capitalised on a defensive error and he played in his teammate who made no mistake in placing the ball into an empty net.
Barcelona were soon back in front when Chelsea failed to clear their lines and Fati lashed the loose ball beyond Ziger into the net.
McCormick then saw a volley superbly saved by Tenas before Tino Anjorin got in the way of Redan’s goal-bound shot.
Chelsea looked to be heading out of the competition until five minutes before the end when they grabbed a dramatic late equaliser. Marc Guehi won the ball in the Barcelona box and striker Charlie Brown was in the right place at the right time to force a penalty shootout.
While Conor Gallagher missed his spot kick, Chelsea went on to score their remaining kicks in the shootout while the heroics of goalkeeper Ziger ensured that The Blues set up a final with FC Porto courtesy on a 5-4 victory on penalties.