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U19's make Quarter Finals by Beating AC Milan

Tuesday afternoon saw a Chelsea Academy side make their third quarter final of the season, this time in the UEFA Youth League as the U19...



Tuesday afternoon saw a Chelsea Academy side make their third quarter final of the season, this time in the UEFA Youth League as the U19's dispatched AC Milan 4 - 1 at Cobham. It has been a competition that Chelsea have excelled in being the only team with a 100% win record in the competition and only conceding a single goal before this game.

The team was a familiar one but missing one key player as Nathan Ake was not involved as he travelled with the first team for their game away to Galatasaray. Mitchell Beeney was in goal with Fankaty Dabo, Andreas Christensen, Dion Conroy and Ola Aina making up the back 4. The midfield duo of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Baker sitting behind the attacking midfielders of Alex Kiwomya, John Swift and Jeremie Boga with Islam Feruz leading the line.

As you would expect with 2 big European clubs facing off it would be a game of tactics and Milan set out their tactic to try and frustrate Chelsea and that would be the pattern of the first half. Chelsea were dominating the ball but finding Milan incredibly difficult to break down with 10 men behind the ball and trying to catch Chelsea on the break but with little success.

There were to be half chances for either side even though it was a scrappy start to the game but on 20 minutes Boga came to life with one of his trademark runs through the middle of the park beating several players players but could only blast his shot over. Chelsea would again come close with Swift attempting a shot outside the box that went wide and Kiwomya also shooting wide after being found well by swift with a diagonal ball over the top.

It really was looking like Chelsea would have to be very patient and try an few new things in the second half to break down this stubborn Milan defence but just before half time Lewis Baker making a very good run across the box was brought down and a free kick awarded and Baker himself as you would expect stepped up to take the free kick and hit a curling effort in which the keeper was unable to stop and Chelsea would have a lead going into half time.

Baker's goal made both teams half time team talks and second half match plans very different. All of a sudden Milan had no choice but to be more open and Chelsea could look to be patient and pick their chances to break and expose Milan as they are so good at doing.

Milan started the second half brightly given their need to be more adventurous but it would not take long for Chelsea to punish them and when Boga picked up the ball with space ahead of him you knew something would happen. Boga drove from the halfway line and with no Milan players going to try and stop him he just kept going and when he got to 20 yards out he unleashed a shot that the Milan keeper had no chance of stopping.

Boga was no starting to be a big influence on proceedings which is what we have needed to see more of from the young attacking midfielder and Milan were having to resort to fouling him to stop him from getting through them. The game then went into a period where it slowed down due to the constant free kicks being blown up by the ref.

At 2 - 0 up Chelsea were in control and continue to look to pile the pressure on and with Izzy Brown coming on to replace Loftus-Cheek there was an additional attacking threat and more pace and Brown would cause problems for Milan. Chelsea would soon get their third after good work from Dabo down the right and finding Boga in the middle who would try a backheel that was blocked the ball was cleared out to Baker who was something like 30 yards out but hit a shot that initially looked like it would go over but had a massive dip and the shot flew into the top corner which has to be goal of the season contender at any level of Chelsea this season.

The fourth goal would soon follow and it was scored by Kiwomya in typical Kiwomya fashion. Played through expertly by Swift and using his pace Kiwomya was away and with no one able to catch him up he only had the keeper to beat and he made no mistake of finding the net and ending a game of very good goals scored by Chelsea.

Milan would get themselves a consolation goal before the end of the game with a free header from a corner that Chelsea would be disappointed to have conceded but a 4 - 1 victory against AC Milan is a fantastic result and now they will face Schalke in the Quarter finals a team that these boys have already beaten home and away in the group stages before a possible Semi final against either Barcelona or Arsenal.

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