Tottenham will take a two-goal lead to Stamford Bridge in the FA Youth Cup semi-final after they beat their Chelsea counterparts 2-0 at White Hart Lane on Thursday.
A goal in each half, the first from captain Josh Onumah and the second from sub Kazaiah Sterling have put U18's manager Kieran McKenna's side in a commanding position against their London rivals.
Both sides have excelled in the youth competitions this season and the semi-final match-up represented a good test for both outfits. There were numerous youth internationals on show and both sides looked good in possession, preferring short, sharp passing as their main game plan.
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Spurs had the first chance of the game when Shayon Harrison was played in by Charlie Owens but Bradley Collins in the visitor's goal made a good stop.
Chelsea had started in a 3-4-3 formation and slowly started to come into the game through their main men Isaiah Brown and Dominic Solanke however they struggled to really test Tom Glover in the Tottenhm goal.
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The first goal came on 41 minutes and there was more than a hint of fortune about it. Captain Onumah used his imposing physique to strive forwards through several Chelsea bodies but lost possession. The Blues clearance struck their own man and fell back into Onumah's path on the edge of the area and he struck a shot from 15 yards that squirmed under Collins' body.
The visitors reverted to a back four for the second half and were on top for the majority, however Spurs defended stoically, led by Cameron Carter-Vickers at the back and Luke Amos in midfield. There were plenty of hallmarks of the senior side's style of play, and watching Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino would have been pleased to see the home team pressing Chelsea across the pitch and trying to pass out the back.
Solanke almost equalised straight after the restart when Anton Walkes clearance struck the forward and fell inches wide. Dasilva blazed over, a Brown cutback was hit by Solanke and well saved by Glover, and the Aussie keeper had to be alert after Carter-Vickers cut out a Dasilva cross, only for the left back to fire in a shot that Glover saved well low to his right.
Before that chance Sterling had come off the bench and was played in by a lofted Onumah through ball but he hesitated a bit too long and was muscled off the ball. The England U17 striker did not make the same mistake again when Harrison was played in on the counter, picked out the run to his left and Sterling finished superbly with a delicate shot with the outside of his right boot.
There was still time for imperious Carter-Vickers to make another impressive block to halt the Blues.
Tottenham will head to Stamford Bridge a week on Wednesday confident they can make the final, but with no away goals rule in this competition and the nature of youth football meaning high scoring games are quite frequent, thee tie could still go either way.
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