Chelsea ended up as Champions of Europe anyway…albeit on the youth side. Goals from Fikayo Tomori (10′) and Kasey Palmer (61′) drove Adi Viveash’s Blues to a 2-1 victory over Francois Rodrigues’s Paris Saint-Germain at the Centre Sportif de Colovray Nyon in Nyon, France, next door to the home of UEFA, to successfully defend their UEFA Youth League title. With the win, the Blues earn their revenge after the senior side were eliminated by PSG in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
However, Chelsea will relinquish their title next season due to the senior side failing to qualify for next year’s UEFA Champions League. Yakou Meite scored in the 58th minute for PSG, who will be back in the UEFA Youth League next year but whose poor form in continental competition has peculiarly carried over at youth level.
“I’ve said throughout this run that it’s going to take a very good team to beat us and the belief has built among the players throughout the competition,” said Viveash. “Now it comes down to two teams, one game and a last big push from us to create a bit of history.”
“Throughout the age groups in the Chelsea Academy, we’ve been brought up to have that winning mentality all the time but as you get older it then becomes more about challenging each other. You can see that every day with how competitive we are with each other and I think that competitive spirit just makes us want to achieve more and more.
“We’ve played the competition this year as the holders and everyone wants to beat the holders but we’ve proven ourselves worthy of that tag. It’s a great achievement to reach another final and hopefully we can push on now and win it again.
“When I was 16 years old I played in a FA Youth Cup final and had teammates like Lewis Baker and John Swift around me, helping me and telling me to just enjoy the experience and not be afraid of making mistakes. If you don’t enjoy the occasion then it’s hard to show what you’re really about. In all the finals I’ve played in, there have always been a handful of players who have experienced a final situation before and I think that really helps to make everyone comfortable.”
Chelsea (4-2-3-1) Bradley Collins; Dujon Sterling, Fikayo Tomori, Jake Clarke-Salter, Ola Aina; Charlie Colkett (c), Mukhtar Ali; Jacob Maddox, Kasey Palmer (Charlie Wakefield 86), Kyle Scott (Mason Mount 59); Tammy Abraham
Unused subs Jay Dasilva, Nathan Baxter, Trevoh Chalobah, Isaac Christie-Davies, Ruben Sammut
Scorers Tomori 10; Palmer 61
Booked Tomori, Scott, Aina, Clarke-Salter, Ali
Paris Saint-Germain (4-3-3) Remy Descamps; Alec Georgen, Felix Eboa Eboa, Mamadou Doucoure (c), Fode Toure; Yohann Demoncy, Antoine Bernede (Alexis Giacomini 85), Christopher Nkunku; Odsonne Edouard (Nanitamo Ikone 63), Jean-Kevin Augustin (Aka Wilfride Kanga 71), Yakou Meite
Unused subs Leonard Aggoune, Bryan Labissiere, Abdoulaye Konate, Dan-Axel Zagadou
Scorer Meite 58
Booked Eboa Eboa, Meite
Referee Daniel Siebert (GER)