Tottenham Hotspur's senior team lost to Chelsea in a cup final, but their youth team has beaten Chelsea once already in a cup semi-final. Spurs' U18 team defeated Chelsea's U18 squad 2-0 in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup semi-finals on Thursday, and are now in a very good position to progress to the finals.
Josh Onomah and striker Kazaiah Sterling both scored as Tottenham now take a solid lead into the return leg at Stamford Bridge next week. The match was televised in England on ITV4.
Onomah is considered one of the brightest stars of Tottenham's academy, but Sterling is considerably less well-known. The 16-year old midfielder was in school that morning before coming in as a late substitute and scoring the match-clinching goal.
Tottenham's youth academy is in the midst of what some are calling a "golden generation." Spurs' senior team now features players such as Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, and Nabil Bentaleb who came up through the youth ranks and are now starting matches. Others such as Tom Carroll, Alex Pritchard, and Milos Veljkovic are waiting in the wings for their chance and have secured solid loan opportunities. Spurs' U18 team is the next generation of young talent, and while names such as Josh Onomah, Ismail Azzouai, Harry Winks, Kyle Walker-Peters, and Cameron Carter-Vickers are unknown to many at present, all are highly regarded by Tottenham coaches and are pegged for a bright future. For a club that hadn't developed a star from the youth team since Ledley King, the future looks very promising.
Spurs will play the return leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. GMT. It is likely that the match will be televised again, though details have not been announced. Should they hold off Chelsea and advance they will play the winner of Manchester City U18 & Leicester City U18. The date and time of the final is to be determined.
Tottenham's lineup (4-2-3-1): Thomas Glover; Kyle Walker-Peters, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Christian Maghoma, Anton Walkes; Luke Amos, Charlie Owens; Zenon Stylanides, Josh Onomah (c), Ismael Azzaoui; Shayon Harrison.
Substitutes: Kazaiah Sterling (57), Marcus Edwards (74), Alfie Whiteman, Joe Muscatt, Armani Daly.
Chelsea's lineup (4-3-3): Bradley Collins; Ola Aina, Fikayo Tomori, Ruben Sammutt, Jay DaSilva; Charlie Colkett, Kyle Scott, Charly Musonda; Isaiah Brown, Dominic Solanke, Tammy Abraham.
Substitutes: 16 Kasey Palmer (55); 12 Jeremie Boga (64), Jared Thompson, Joshua Grant, Mukhtar Ali.