FA Youth Cup: 2010

Chelsea won the FA Youth Cup for the first time since 1961 after a brilliant second-half comeback against Aston Villa at a noisy Stamford Bridge.

The first leg had finished 1-1 at Villa Park and so the teams headed to our west London home with it all to play for.

Goals from Marko Mitrovic and a late long-ranger from captain Conor Clifford overturned a half-time deficit after Villa forward Kofi Poyser had given his side the lead with a header against the run of play.

It sealed the third FA Youth Cup victory in our history, after previous successes in 1960 and 1961.

Our run to the final began at the Valley before Christmas, as a 2-1 win was secured courtesy of goals from recent first-team debutant Jeffrey Bruma and Swedish striker Mitrovic.

Emphatic 4-0 away victories in the fourth and sixth round – against Nottingham Forest and Watford respectively – sandwiched a tight 1-0 win against Portsmouth at Stamford Bridge in round five. Clifford got the winner in that game having also scored at the City Ground, with Josh McEachran among those to have netted at Vicarage Road.

We were drawn to play Blackburn in the semi-finals. In the first leg game in the North-West, an own goal in our favour proved the difference. When the sides met again at the Bridge, the Blues put in a fine performance and thoroughly deserved the 4-0 margin of victory. Jacopo Sala notched two with fellow attackers Mitrovic and Gokhan Tore weighing in with a goal apiece.

That meant a second final appearance in three years but, unlike in 2008, it was Chelsea that lifted the cup.

Jeffrey Bruma equalised with a fine free-kick in the first leg against Aston Villa, with the Blues unfortunate not to return from Birmingham with an advantage after striking woodwork on three separate occasions.

But it mattered not a jot in the end as Mitrovic and Clifford struck at the Bridge to seal a 3-2 aggregate victory in a two-legged tie definitely edged by Chelsea.

With many goals scored allied to just three conceded over the course of the tournament, it was clear our quality in both boxes was what proved decisive in the first of our modern-day Youth Cup triumphs.

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