Jody Morris’ Chelsea Under-18s have created history after sealing their fifth consecutive FA Youth Cup trophy with a 7-1 aggregate victory over Arsenal.
The Blues went into Monday’s second leg of the final with a 3-1 advantage having beaten The Gunners at Stamford Bridge on Friday.
Chelsea continued their first leg domination with an early volley from Billy Gilmour, before a second half brace from Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tino Anjorin’s strike meant that the title will be staying in South West London for the eighth time in the past 10 seasons.
It is only the second time in the FA Youth Cup’s history that a side has won it for five consecutive seasons. Morris’ side’s impressive achievement has emulated that of the Manchester United team between 1953-1957, who are often referred to as the Busby Babes.
The Blues extended their advantage over The Gunners early on in North London. Scottish midfielder Gilmour was on the edge of the penalty area and in prime position to receive Juan Castillo’s diverted cross, which he calmly teed up before smashing a driven half-volley into the bottom corner.
Wing-back Castillo came close with an effort of his own minutes later from distance, which forced an acrobatic stop from home goalkeeper Joao Virginia.
Kwame Ampadu, father of Chelsea defender Ethan, was in charge of the young Gunners. His side’s opening chance of the first half came just after the half hour mark when Xavier Amaechi broke into the penalty area, but he was denied by a super sliding challenge from Castillo.
Moments later, Hudson-Odoi, who prior to kick-off was the competition’s joint-top goalscorer, came close to doubling the visitors’ lead with his sweeping effort being denied by Virginia.
Bukayo Saka had the host’s best chance of the first half when he went through on goal, only for his effort to this time be denied by Jamie Cumming.
Hudson-Odoi again came close before the interval after thundering down the right flank with pace and flair; the winger’s deflected effort forced another strong save out of Virginia. Defender Marc Guehi, who netted during Friday’s first leg, was able to steer a header on target on the stroke of half time but was unable to test the Gunners’ stopper.
Winger Hudson-Odoi eventually sealed the trophy for The Blues shortly after the restart. Striker Daishawn Redan’s cross found the wideman at the back post, despite initially aiming for George McEachran. Hudson-Odoi cut inside into the penalty area, beating two defenders en-route before firing his shot in from close range. That strike made him the tournament’s top goalscorer this season.
Within minutes of coming on, Anjorin extended Chelsea’s lead over their London rivals to five after he tucked away Hudson-Odoi’s pass from the right.
Hudson-Odoi netted his 10th Youth Cup goal of the campaign in the final 15 minutes with a silky run down the left side before tucking inside and curling his shot past Virginia.