Chelsea youngsters make UEFA Youth League final

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Chelsea's youngsters reached the UEFA Youth League final after a 4-0 win against Roma at the Colovray Stadium on Friday.

The U-19 side, which contained several players who have made their first-team debuts, including Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Dominic Solanke, and Andreas Christensen, will now face Shakhtar Donetsk in the final at the same stadium on Monday afternoon.

The first half was slow and tense for Viveash's side, but they were the stronger side and were disappointed not to have been awarded a penalty in the 35th minute. Frenchman Jeremie Boga, 18, had a run into the penalty area before a superb 'one-two' pass with captain Isaiah Brown, formerly of the West Brom.

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Boga received the ball back from Brown, before the Frenchman was challenged by the hands of Roma 'keeper Gabriele Marchegiani. There were strong appeals for a penalty, but referee Jesus Gil Manzano failed to blow his whistle. 

The best chance of the first half fell to Chelsea's youngster Charly Musonda, whose curling free kick was gratefully clutched by the hands of Marchegiani late on in the first half.

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However, Roma's youth side managed one significant chance in the first half, as an early corner from 18-year-old Francesco Di Mariano was met by the head of former Barcelona man Toni Sanabria who headed it straight into the hands of Bradley Collins in the Blues goal. 


The start of the second half resulted in the breakdown on Roma's defence and the increase of Chelsea's attacking prowess, as they scored two goals in four minutes of the restart. The first was on 47 minutes, as Brown's superb through ball fell for Charlie Colkett, with his low show going into the back of the net. 

The Blues doubled their lead through a long ball forward from Danish defender Andreas Christensen, who has made two first-team starts this season. His ball fell for Dominic Solanke, and the England U-19 striker saw the ball fall past the Roma 'keeper before he tapped it in to the back of the empty net.

Solanke, who made his first team debut against Maribor in the UEFA Champions League last December, scored his 11th goal in the competition, again tapping in to an empty net after Colkett's header was saved well by Marchegiani, before the ball fell to Solanke who was able to pass the ball into the net with the keeper on the floor.

A fourth was added after substitutes Tammy Abraham and Kasey Palmer linked up to round off the game. Palmer, 18, put a cross into the area which was smashed in at the near post by Abraham, rounding off a second half within which Roma's only chance came from Daniele Verde's free kick on 66 minutes, saved well by Collins.

First-team chance?

Chelsea's Dominic Solanke, who has hit over 35 goals this season, is looking to break into the first team, but with the return of Patrick Bamford - on loan at Middlesbrough - and possible summer additions, it won't be easy for the youngster to prove his credentials under the guidance of Jose Mourinho. 

Chelsea Under-19 manager Viveash, 45, notable for playing spells at Swindon, Reading and Walsall, was pleased with the victory, as he stated: "I'm very proud – proud of the players, proud of the staff who have worked very hard to get to this stage. When you see players perform like that it brings warmth to your heart.

"I feel very proud to work with that calibre of player and to watch them play is wonderful for everyone who works in our academy. They were excellent from minute one to minute 94 and thoroughly deserve their place in the final." 

The Blues' final match can be watched live on Eurosport this afternoon.

Chelsea fans: Do you expect these players to play for the first-team in the upcoming years? Have your say in the comments section below! 

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