Chelsea U19 manager Adi Viveash expressed his immense joy and pride after he saw his side win the UEFA Youth League, the most prestigious trophy in Europe for academy sides, after the 3-2 victory over Shakthar Donetsk yesterday.
An Izzy Brown brace and Dominic Solanke goal was enough to claim the win, with the Young Blues showing huge talent. Viveash said:
“We started the game brilliantly and scored a great early goal through Izzy but then we took our foot off the gas a little and you can’t afford to do that against teams of this quality. Shakhtar then stepped up their game and got a justified equaliser but we did respond well with another strong spell before half-time.
‘We started the second half in the same improved way we did against Roma [in the semi-final] and worked the ball a lot better, scoring two more good goals early on. We dominated the second half and Shakhtar struggled to handle us but then so has every other team we’ve played which is why, when we’re on form, we’re the best.
“We’ve scored 36 goals and conceded six in 10 games in the competition and that’s an amazing achievement.
The Chelsea side also won 4-0 against Roma in the semi-final, as well as beating Athletico Madrid, Zenit, Sporting Lisbon and other sides on their journey to lift the trophy.
Their manager went on to say: “It was almost a faultless performance today from a group of young players and we’re the first English team to win this competition now, which is something that nobody can take away from us. The group have really stuck together, regrouped after the Schalke defeat in the group stage and came strong again.”
Viveash amditted that the support from players’ families and Academy staff in the crowd made a big difference and claimed that it was difficult to control his emotions when presented with the trophy after the game.
“Their support means so much to us. Going up those steps and seeing all those faces here nearly got to me and I found it a little bit difficult emotionally.
“I’ve been here eight years now and I took some of these players as Under-12s so for us to win an Under-19 Champions League competition is a wonderful achievement. The whole club should be immensely proud of them.”