Chelsea booked their place in the last eight of the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday evening with a comfortable 4-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Aldershot.
First half goals from Trevoh Chalobah and Iké Ugbo underlined a dominant first-half display that provided the platform for their safe passage through to the Quarter Finals, with captain Mason Mount adding to the scoreline later in the game with what was his fifth goal of the competition so far and Callum Hudson-Odoi finishing it off with the last kick of the match.
Dan Davies’ match gallery is always the best way to look back on the action, check it out HERE.
Jody Morris made four changes to the side that began the emphatic 5-0 win at Birmingham in Round Four, drafting Jared Thompson, Reece James, Joseph Colley and Luke McCormick in to replace Jamie Cumming, Richard Nartey, Cole Dasilva and George McEachran as a heavy rotation policy continued. There was also a return back to a four-man defence, with McCormick shielding them in midfield and a talented five-man attacking group ahead of him.
Wednesday were without leading goalscorer Jordan Lonchar through injury but were able to field George Hirst in attack; the son of former England international David has already earned a first-team debut and tops the club’s Under-23 goalscoring charts. They came into this match on the back of a five-match winning run, the most recent of those a 5-2 win over Hull City on Saturday when defender Joe Cook grabbed an unlikely hat-trick.
Unfortunately for the Owls, Chelsea were on their game from the very first minute and made light work of the heavy, often horiztonal, rain crashing down on the playing surface at the EBB Stadium. They moved the ball around quickly and efficiently and were able to test visiting goalkeeper Dan Wallis early on courtesy of a Mount free kick.
Wallis was busy again when he was asked to scramble across goal to push Jacob Maddox’s skidding effort away for a corner, but from the ensuing set piece, Chelsea took the lead. Hudson-Odoi collected the over-hit delivery out on the left and stood up a cross to the far post, where Reece James climbed high enough to guide the ball back into Chalobah’s path for an acrobatic volley into the back of the net from eight yards out.
Crosses from full-backs James and Marc Guehi continued to pose problems for Sheff Wed’s five-man defence, and there was comparatively little for Hirst, Fraser Preston and company to work with in attack. The closest they were able to come in the opening 45 minutes was Cook’s glancing header just over the bar as he met Joe West’s free-kick.
Ugbo thrashed one well wide before then being shut down by Liam Waldock after Mount had found him with a neat backheel, and then Mount himself was kept out by a brave block by Cook with a goal otherwise a near certainty. The pressure continued and Chelsea did then have the ball in the net again, but referee Ian Fissenden had already called for a foul on Wallis by Guehi.
Hudson-Odoi cracked the outside of the post with a cross whilst Mount came closer still with a powerful low strike from 30 yards out that deserved a goal for the wonderful body-swerve used to carve out the chance, but this was a Blues side playing with such confidence and swagger that a second goal before the break was inevitable.
It arrived with five minutes left in the half and it owed much to Chalobah once again. This time he broke up a Wednesday attack inside his own half before bursting through the middle and handing over to Sterling before continuing his run into the box. Sterling produced a gem of a cross which allowed Ugbo to rise highest and thump an unstoppable header past Wallis for 2-0.
They picked right back up off where they left off when play resumed as Chalobah headed just over and Mount put another one just wide, before Preston kept Sterling from adding a tap-in after another storming run down the left by Hudson-Odoi. Still, a two-goal lead can be precarious and Wednesday were able to show as much when Preston’s deflected cross fell into Hirst’s path, but the big forward was unable to sort his feet out and pushed his effort wide in a let-off for the hosts.
Things tailed off a little after that, with the visitors almost resigned to their fate, collecting a few bookings in their frustration, whilst Chelsea ensured they weren’t giving anything away either. Ugbo and Guehi had half-chances come and go without success, but Mount wasn’t to be denied the opportunity to continue his run of scoring in every round so far, sealing the deal fifteen minutes from time with a drop of the shoulder and a composed finish past Wallis for 3-0.
That was that. Martell Taylor-Crossdale and George McEachran each got late run-outs just after Tariq Uwakwe had done the same in marking his return from injury, and all three were keenly involved without troubling the scorers, whilst Hirst almost grabbed a consolation with a stoppage-time header deflected just wide.
The cherry on top of the cake was provided by Hudson-Odoi right at the very end; played through on goal by McEachran, he had all the time in the world to pick his spot before slotting it coolly underneath Wallis to add a deserved gloss to the scoreline.
A trip to Middlesbrough or Leicester City awaits them in the Quarter Finals as Chelsea go in search of what would be a sixth straight Final appearance. That match is scheduled to be played this Friday, with the resulting clash set to be played before the end of the month.
Chelsea: Thompson, James, Colley (Uwakwe 71), Chalobah, Guehi, McCormick (McEachran 75), Sterling, Maddox, Ugbo (Taylor-Crossdale 75), Mount (c), Hudson-Odoi
Subs not Used: Grant, Cumming
Goals: Chalobah ’13, Ugbo ’40, Mount ’74, Hudson-Odoi ‘90
Sheffield Wednesday: Wallis, West, Kirby (c), Lee, Cook, Price (Hunt 58), Hirst, Preston, Brennan (Hughes 86), Waldock (Gavrilov 73), Williams
Subs not Used: Walker, J.Reaney
Booked: Brennan, Cook, Kirby, Hunt