Chelsea Under-19s have crashed out of this season’s UEFA Youth League at the group stage after a 2-1 defeat to Valencia in Spain this afternoon ended their qualification hopes.
Jordi Escobar netted a late winner for the hosts to put an end to a disastrous campaign for Andy Myers’ young side.
Chelsea thought they had taken the lead early on but Armando Broja’s goal was chalked off and the referee instead awarded The Blues a penalty kick. Billy Gilmour failed to convert from the spot with the hand of home keeper Carlos Perez Sanchez pushing the ball to safety.
Valencia took the lead in freak circumstances. Yunus Musah’s free-kick was spilt by Blues keeper Karlo Ziger and Joseda scrambled the loose ball home.
Chelsea were level just six minutes later. Lewis Bate’s cross caused chaos in the Valencia box and Henry Lawrence was on-hand to strike the ball into the net.
The home side had a chance to add to the scoreline before the break but Pablo Gozalbez could only shoot at Blues keeper Ziger when in a great position to score before the defence cleared the ball to safety.
Valencia also threatened early in the second half when goalscorer Joseda’s header cannoned off the crossbar before Gilmour forced home keeper Perez Sanchez into a routine save at the other end.
The Spanish club grabbed the winner 14 minutes from time when Escobar cut in from the right and rifled a powerful shot into the net.
Chelsea needed a point to keep their hopes of qualification alive but they failed to equalise in the dying stages of the match and they must now face a dead rubber match against Lille in a fortnight’s time.