Chelsea’s U19 side have reached the UEFA Youth League Final after beating Roma 4-0 in the semi-final in Nyon.
Despite a goalless first half, Chelsea scored three in nine minutes effectively sealed the game and ensured Adi Viveash’s side’s progression to the Final.
A cagey first half did see Chelsea fashion some good chances – Charlie Colkett’s early chance in particular drawing a good save from Roma keeper Gabriele Marchegiani. Chelsea captain Izzy Brown also forced two good saves in quick succession from the Roma shot-stopper.
Roma however did cause a threat at times – Lorenzo Pellegrini struck just wide late on in the half.
Chelsea’s first half pressure paid off as the Young Blues scored twice in the first four minutes of the second half. After good work from Brown, a good run from Colkett was rewarded when the ball fell to him, the midfielder’s low strike taking a deflection off a defender and going past the wrong-footed keeper.
Dominic Solanke then chased down a long ball, beating Marchegiana to the loose ball and confidently lobbing the ball over the onrushing the keeper into the empty net.
Viveash’s men then all but ended the tie as they scored a third. Colkett found space in the box to head Jeremie Boga’s cross towards goal. His header was spilled by the Roma goalkeeper, and Solanke punished him, scoring his 11th goal in the competition. The 17-year old is the competition’s leading goalscorer.
Roma did still contain a threat, particularly through set-pieces. Roma midfielder Daniele Verde came closest with a freekick just after the hour mark, which stung the palms of Chelsea keeper Bradley Collins.
However, Roma’s efforts meant nothing as Chelsea added a fourth late on. Substitute Tammy Abraham combined well with fellow substitute Kasey Palmer to turn in the latter’s cross.
The dominant performance will send the U19 side into the final against Shaktar Donetsk full of confidence. Donetsk beat Aderlecht 3-1 in the other semi-final. The final, that will be played next Monday, will kick off again in Nyon at 3pm GMT.
Chelsea: Collins, Aina (Tomori, 89′),Christensen, Clarke-Salter (YC), Dasilva, Colkett, Loftus-Cheek, Izzy Brown (C), Musonda (Abraham, 75′), Boga (Palmer, 71′), Solanke
Subs not used: Thompson, Suljic, Scott, Ugbo
Roma: Marchegiani, Anocic (YC) (Ciavattini, 89′), Calabresi, Verde, Pellegrini (C, YC), Sanabria (Vestenicky, 45′), Di Mariano (YC) (Ndoj, 77′), Paolelli, Marchizza, D’Urso, Machin
Subs not used: Pop, De Santis, Adamo, Ciavattini, Soleri