Chelsea Under-19s retained the UEFA Youth League title with a determined and professional display in Switzerland.
Fikayo Tomori handed the holders the lead after 10 minutes before Bradley Collins, our goalkeeper, denied Jean-Kevin Augustin from the penalty spot moments later. Yakou Meite equalised for PSG but Kasey Palmer’s goal instantly put the Blues back in front and they held firm to land a remarkable back-to-back triumph in the prestigious European competition.
It was an unchanged team selection by Adi Viveash following a comprehensive semi-final victory over Anderlecht. Francois Rodrigues made just one change from the Parisians’ 3-1 semi-final win over Real Madrid. Lorenzo Callegari missed out after coming off injured against Madrid, with Bernede his midfield replacement.
Chelsea came into the final 14 games unbeaten in the competition, a run that saw them lift the trophy a year previously, and created the first chances in the opening 10 minutes.
Jacob Maddox and Mukhtar Ali combined down the right channel to tee up a sight at goal for Tammy Abraham but he was thwarted by a last-ditch sliding challenge before PSG keeper Remy Descamps produced an excellent save to tip the ball over the ball as Kasey Palmer’s dipping drive looked destined for the top corner.
The Blues, wearing an all-white strip for this contest, were rewarded for the bright start with the opening goal after 10 minutes. Palmer’s corner from the right found Jake Clarke-Salter and, while his header was blocked, his centre-back partner was on hand to turn the ball into the back of the net on the rebound for his fifth goal of the season.
The goal deflated PSG after their encouraging start to the second period. Ali’s drive from 30 yards out flew over as the tie entered its final quarter but the side from the French capital soon rallied as they went in search of a second leveller.
Substitute Nanitamo Ikone had an effort deflected inches wide and Collins denied Meite after a Paris break forward, and Sterling arrived in the nick of time deep into his own six-yard box to clear a goal-mouth scramble following a corner.
Chances continued to come and go for PSG, with the young Blues appearing jaded. Meite’s shot deflected just over and then Nkunku skewed wide a wonderful chance after Meite’s cutback. Collins denied substitute Aka Wilfride Kanga in added time as the holders defended doggedly to keep their hands on Europe’s top junior prize.