Chelsea 2– 3 Norwich City (Agg 2-4)
The FA Youth Cup
The Final Second Leg
7.45pm, Monday 13 May 2013
Stamford Bridge, Chelsea FC
By Nicholas Veevers at Stamford Bridge
Norwich City completed a week of Cup surprises with a strong and exciting team show at Stamford Bridge seeing them comprehensively beat Chelsea to lift The FA Youth Cup.
Just days after Wigan Athletic had shocked Manchester City at Wembley in The FA Cup, it was the day of the underdog again in west London as Norwich preventing highly-fancied Chelsea from retaining The FA Youth Cup.
Although you wouldn’t have thought Chelsea were the team that many predicted to win here, with Neil Adams’ young Canaries winning both legs and displayed a team-ethic and spirit which carried them through some intense pressure.
Chelsea predictably started strongly and it didn’t take them long to draw level on aggregate as Jeremie Boga cut in from the left and fired a low shot past William Britt after 15 minutes.
But Norwich had a well executed game-plan and were more than making a match of it, allowing Chelsea to control possession before using their energy to break effectively.
And they drew level just six minutes later by catching Chelsea out with a quickly-taken corner.
The ball was worked to Josh Murphy and his drilled, low cross gave the unfortunate Adam Nditi no chance, diverting off the Chelsea left-back at the near post and past Mitchell Beeney.
It was still largely Chelsea on the front foot though and skipper Lewis Baker saw a superbly placed free-kick well saved by Britt as they looked to edge ahead.
Islam Feruz was then wasteful at the other end as he dragged a shot wide of the post after a fine slide-rule pass from Baker had set him up.
Baker then turned saviour for his side in the 34th minute, as he was well placed on the goal-line to stop Jacob Murphy’s low shot from creeping in after beating Beeney.
But when Carlton Morris’ strong run into the box saw him felled by Alex Davey moments later, referee Neil Swarbrick pointed to the spot.
Just as he did in the first leg, City skipper Cameron McGeehan, a former Chelsea player, stepped up to slot home the penalty and give his side a two goal aggregate lead going in to the second half.
As in the first half, Chelsea came quickly out of the traps with Norwich forced into some desperate defending at times.
And Feruz missed another good chance on the hour mark, latching onto Ruben Loftus Cheek’s pass to break clear. He tried to take it past Britt, but the City ‘keeper got a crucial hand to the ball before the striker blasted wide on the turn.
Norwich’s resolute attitude and discipline paid off, as they soaked up that pressure and hit back at Chelsea with just less than 15 minutes remaining.
With the hosts now concentrating on attack, there were always gaps at the back and Norwich took full advantage.
And when Morris beat the offside trap on the left and played a low cross into the area for Josh Murphy, the England U19 man tapped home from close range to give his side a crucial three goal lead.
Murphy was then denied a shooting chance to make it 4-1, with a timely challenge from Davey blocking him on the edge of the area after he had broke clear on another swift counter-attack.
And it was a nervy end to the game for Adams and his staff too, as Boga pulled a goal back in the 87th minute, converting Feruz’s low centre from close range to give his side hope.
But Norwich stood firm, backed by a noisy and vociferous support at Stamford Bridge, to make sure their name was on The FA Youth Cup for 2013.
Chelsea: 1 Mitchell Beeney, 2 Ola Aina (16 Charly Musonda, 72), 3 Alex Davey, 4 Andreas Christensen, 5 Adam Nditi (15 Kevin Wright, 70), 6 Lewis Baker (c ), 7 John Swift (14 Charlie Colkett, 63), 8 Ruben Loftus Cheek, 9 Islam Feruz, 10 Jeremie Boga, 11 Alex Kiwomya.
Substitutes not used: 12 Dion Conroy, 13 Ben Killip.
Manager: Adrian Viveash
Goals: Jeremie Boga 15, 87.
Caution: Lewis Baker 89
Norwich City: 1 William Britt, 2 Cameron Norman, 3 Ben Wyatt, 4 Cameron McGeehan (c ), 5 Kyle McFadden, 6 Harry Toffolo, 7 Jacob Murphy, 8 Harry Randall (14 Harvey Hodd, 90), 9 Carlton Morris, 10 Cameron King (15 Rod Young, 81), 11 Joshua Murphy.
Substitutes not used: 12 Kevin Lokko, 13 Tyler Reading, 16 Reece Brown.
Manager: Neil Adams
Goals: Adam Nditi (OG) 21, Cameron McGeehan 36, Josh Murphy 76
Caution: Cameron McGeehan (71)
Referee: Neil Swarbrick.
Assistant Referees: Marc Perry & Alan Young.
Fourth Official: Graham Horwood.