By Isaac Moore at Emirates Stadium
Arsenal's Youth Cup hopes were ended for another year after they were beaten by Chelsea in the second leg of their semi-final at Emirates Stadium.
Charlie Colkett's first-half goal put Chelsea 3-1 up on aggregate and Arsenal were unable to find a way back into the tie.
The Gunners produced a spirited but ultimately fruitless display and they will perhaps look back with regret on the two quick goals conceded in the first leg after taking the lead.
SETTING THE SCENE
Ten thousand fans were in attendance for what promised to be a tense and enthralling cup tie in N5.
Carl Laraman made just one change from the side that started the first leg. Jack Jebb, who scored twice in the quarter-final against Everton, was restored to the starting line-up with Daniel Crowley dropping to the bench.
Chelsea also made one change. Schoolboy Jay Dasilva was preferred to Isaiah Brown.
Despite taking the lead at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal were fortunate to leave west London with only a narrow scoreline to overturn after a barrage of late Blues pressure.
But Arsenal's youth teams had a perfect record going into tonight's clash and, with an expectant crowd behind them, the Gunners knew a place in the final was well within their grasp.
Arsenal began in lively fashion but it was Chelsea who created the first big chance. Dominic Solanke weaved past three Arsenal defenders and looked certain to score but Josh Vickers made a brave block and Julio Pleguezuelo recovered to clear the danger.
The Blues took control of the tie on 16 minutes when Colkett tricked past Tafari Moore and squeezed a shot under Vickers from a tight angle.
Arsenal seemed shell-shocked after conceding and took time to find their feet.
But they should have been level in the 31st minute when Alex Iwobi exchanged passes with Chuba Akpom and raced through on goal. He tried to play a square ball for Akpom instead of shooting and Chelsea recovered to clear.
Moments later, the visitors went close to putting the game beyond Arsenal when Ola Aina's cross was met by Jordan Houghton, whose header flew just over Vickers' crossbar.
Solanke blasted over from close range in the final minutes of the half. Arsenal needed something special to stage a comeback in the second period.
Chelsea continued their search of a killer second goal at the start of the second half and went close when Andreas Christensen sent a low effort just wide of the far post.
In the 55th minute, Glen Kamara picked up a loose ball after Chelsea failed to clear a Jebb free-kick and his shot looked destined for the corner but Christensen blocked on the line.
Dasilva forced Vickers into a fingertip save just after the hour after he ghosted in from the right-hand side.
Vickers was called into action again with 11 minutes remaining. Isak Ssewankambo's looping header was heading for the top corner but the Arsenal goalkeeper got a hand to it and clawed the ball away.
A tired Arsenal faded in the closing stages with Chelsea looking the more threatening. They go on to play local rivals Fulham in a two-legged final.
- Kamara 86
- Siemann 67
- Iwobi 58
- O'Connor 67
- Crowley 58
- Lipman 86
- Clarke-Salter 67
- Dabo 59
- Houghton Yellow Card
- Colkett 80 Goal!
- Ssewankambo 59
- Brown 67