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Liverpool U18 vs Chelsea U18

Chelsea stage incredible FA Youth Cup comeback to beat Liverpool 4-3 after late three-goal deficit

20:21 GMT 29/01/2022
Malik Mothersille Chelsea 2021-22
The Blues were left celebrating at Kirkby as they reached the tournament's last eight in an amazing end to the clash

Chelsea's youngsters staged a remarkable comeback on Saturday to advance in the FA Youth Cup at the expense of Liverpool.

The Blues appeared to be heading out in the fifth round as they trailed by three goals with just 20 minutes left to play.

But they came charging back to win 4-3 and advance to the quarter-finals of the famous youth competition.

A memorable fightback

Playing at Kirkby, the Reds made a strong start to the tie when they took the lead through Luke Chambers.

Kaide Gordon and Oakley Cannonier were also on target to put the hosts 3-0 up midway through the second half.

Chelsea kept fighting, however, and pulled one back when Charlie Webster scored a deflected effort from distance.

Jude Soonsup-Bell then reduced the deficit to just one goal, and the Blues then profited from an unfortunate own goal to pull level.

Substitute Tudor Mendel Idowu then converted from a low cross, leaving the visitors in ecstasy while Liverpool's kids mourned their late collapse.

View from Neil Jones in the stands

The contrast at the final whistle could hardly have been starker.

As Liverpool’s players sunk to the floor, distraught, Chelsea’s let loose. The celebrations were wild, and why wouldn’t they be? What a comeback, what a win.

What a game.

Liverpool will wonder what on earth happened in that last 25 minutes. They were cruising, three up thanks to three wonderful-worked, and clinically-finished, goals from captain Luke Chambers, wonderkid Kaide Gordon and top-scorer Oakley Cannonier.

But from the moment Charlie Webster’s 20-yarder took a deflection past Harvey Davies, the whole scene changed. Suddenly the home side were tired, cramping up and looking edgy. They were forced into substitutions which weakened them, while Chelsea made changes that strengthened them.

They got some luck too. Their opener was fortuitous and their equaliser came via an Isaac Mabaya clearance which smashed into Malik Mothersille and left Davies helpless. But when two substitutes, Silko Thomas and Tudor Mendell Idowu, combined for the winner in stoppage time, you could only admire their character and fight.

Liverpool, on the other hand, will have only regrets. Their FA Youth Cup run is over, and it’ll take them a few days before they work out how.

The bigger picture

Established in 1952, the FA Youth Cup is open to England's Under-18s team and runs alongside the senior FA Cup.

Many of the nation's finest talents have starred in the Cup as youngsters, including the likes of David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Manchester United legend George Best and former Tottenham and England star Paul Gascoigne.

Aston Villa are the current holders, having beaten Liverpool 2-1 in the 2020-21 final.

Chelsea also have a superb recent history in the competition, winning it on five consecutive occasions between 2013 and 2018; while United are the most successful team overall with 10 Youth Cup titles.

Further reading