A brace from Shayon Harrison, plus a rare Milos Veljkovic goal, saw us surge into a 3-0 lead against the Blues at Aldershot Town FC after a relatively quiet opening spell in which both sides sought to get on the ball and press.
Chelsea did manage to reduce the arrears through Tammy Abraham’s powerful header shortly before the end while we had to maintain our composure in the closing stages, but our youngsters were fully deserving of the points in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League come the full-time whistle.
Under-21s Coach Ugo hailed the showing as “probably the best performance we’ve had to date” and singled out several players for particular praise.
“I thought the boys were magnificent,” he said. “Technically we looked quicker and more inventive than Chelsea and I thought we were more dangerous than they were too.
“We had to dig in for spells, there were some moments where the boys have got to manage the game much better – with the enthusiasm at 3-0 up, we were a little bit naïve in committing six or seven bodies forward and trying to get the next one – but some of the passing and some of the finishing was excellent.
“A lot of the players have nursed injuries or have had questions asked of them in terms of whether or not they can go again and apply themselves, but to their credit they’ve done that and they’ve shown a very talented Chelsea team what they can do.
“We saw Shayon Harrison racing back 50 yards and winning headers when Chelsea started to go direct to try to chase the game, Kyle Walker-Peters showed a good range of passing and played the full-back role well tonight, plus I thought Milos Veljkovic with his composure on the ball in the middle was probably too good for the game at times.
“I was really pleased with Luke Amos for his aggressive defending – he was probably the most aggressive, front-foot defender tonight – plus you’ve got players like Keanan Bennetts ending up on the pitch so all in all I was really pleased with the spirit and you can sense that the boys are starting to believe more.
“There’s still so much more to come but tonight was really pleasing.”