We head into the second leg of the FA Youth Cup final at Emirates Stadium with it all to do, after slipping to a 3-1 defeat against reigning champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Xavier Amaechi broke the deadlock in the first half with his fifth goal of the tournament, before substitute Daishawn Redan inspired a comeback for the home side by scoring twice.
It was Chelsea who carved open the game’s first opportunity when Charlie Brown was played through one-on-one. But the centre forward fired high and wide under pressure from the onrushing Joao Virginia.
Shortly after, Amaechi found space on the left wing and forced Jamie Cumming into a tricky save from a tight angle, which should have been a warning sign for the Blues ahead of our opener.
Emile Smith Rowe drifted into space in the middle of the park to receive the ball on the turn, before releasing Amaechi through on goal with an inch-perfect pass behind Tariq Lamptey. The 17-year-old winger maintained composure with the goal in his sights, as he allowed the ball to run past his body before chipping Cumming with the cheekiest of efforts.
Vontae Daley-Campbell then kicked off the second half with a storming run and whipped ball across the face of goal, but no red shirts were able to meet his inviting delivery.
We looked to have a firm grip on the game by this stage, but with a single long ball over the top of our defence, Chelsea drew level with substitute Redan tucking the ball under Virginia’s legs.
The game had been turned on its head and just ten minutes later Marc Guehi gave the home side the lead from a corner, before Redan snatched his second of the night with a snap shot from eight yards out.
WHAT IT MEANS
We go into the second leg of the FA Youth Cup final knowing that a win by two goals will take the tie to extra time. A win by three goals will see us lift the trophy.
The second leg of the FA Youth Cup final will take place at Emirates Stadium on Monday, April 30.
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