Football Features

Five things learned as Porto beat Chelsea 3-1 to win first Youth League title

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:12, 29 April 2019

Porto beat Chelsea 3-1 on Monday to win the Uefa Youth League for the first time.

The Portuguese side took the lead in the first half through Fabio Vieira before Daishawn Redan drew Chelsea level just after half-time.

But the Blues were level for just two minutes before Diogo Queirós put Porto ahead once more and Afonso Sousa wrapped up the win 15 minutes from time.

So, what did we learn?

1. Porto join elite company

After the opening 10 minutes, Porto may have been fearing for their Uefa Youth League hopes as Chelsea came out of the blocks fast and had some good goalscoring opportunities.

But the Portuguese side, ever presents in the Uefa Youth League since its inception in 2013, soon took control and pushed the competition’s most successful side to the max.

Chelsea’s penalty-shootout win over Barcelona was their 37th in the Uefa Youth League, moving them clear of the Catalans who have amassed 36. But Chelsea’s record did not worry Porto one but, with the Portuguese side holding faith in their stern defence after taking an early lead.

Even after Chelsea drew level, Porto fought back immediately and were well deserving of their 3-1 win. It secured Porto’s first ever Uefa Youth League trophy in their first appearance in a final, joining an elite list of winners.

Porto are the fourth team to win the competition in its six years, with Chelsea and Barcelona both winning twice and Red Bull Salzburg the other victor.

2. Complacency costs Chelsea again

In Friday afternoon’s semi-final, Chelsea had their work cut out for them against a very good Barcelona side – who took the lead early on.

But, thanks to Barcelona missing some big chances, Chelsea were allowed back into the game and did equalise midway through the second half via Luke McCormick.

However the lead lasted just three minutes as the Blues allowed Barcelona to retake control, ending in Anssumane Fati scoring his side’s second.

And the same thing happened in Monday’s final after the Blues worked their way back from an early 1-0 deficit. Daishawn Redan was the man to equalise for Chelsea, but once again, Joe Edwards’ side allowed their opponents to retake the lead.

Diogo Queirós was the one to benefit for Porto, bundling in from close range after Chelsea dallied on the ball in their own area. There were just two minutes and seven seconds between Chelsea’s equaliser and Porto’s second.

But unlike against Barcelona, a second equaliser didn’t come and Porto went on to score the fourth goal of the game, wrapping up a historic win.

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3. Diogo Queirós is fully deserving of Premier League links

Last summer, 20-year-old Diogo Queiros was linked with a move to the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Bournemouth as a result of his performances for Porto’s B team. And after his game on Monday, it’s easy to see why.

Captaining Porto’s U19 side, Queiros was part of a rock solid defence which could have so easily kept a clean sheet – which would have been their sixth consecutive in the competition. Only poor goalkeeping judgment from Diogo Costa prevented that from happening.

Even when the equaliser for Chelsea did come, Queiros led by example and pushed straight away to help Porto retain the lead. The centre-back went close with a bullet header from a set-piece which was met with a wonderful save by Karlo Žiger. But Ziger could not deny Queiros moments later, as the 19-year-old bundled in Porto’s second.

Queiros then proceeded to help Porto keep the lead, with a vital tackle on Luke McCormick when the Chelsea captain looked like equalising from close range.

It was a performance deserving of winning the trophy and could just see Queiros linked with a move away from Porto once more.

4. Charlie Brown misses out on history

As well as Chelsea losing a second consecutive Uefa Youth League final, there was some personal disappoint for Blues forward Charlie Brown.

It was partly thanks to Brown that Chelsea reached Monday’s final, as the 19-year-old came off the bench against Barcelona to help their comeback, scoring the second equaliser late on.

The goal drew Brown level with Real Madrid’s Borja Mayoral and Roberto Nunez of Atletico Madrid on 15 goals, as the Uefa Youth League’s all-time top goalscorers.

Brown started the final on the bench too but did come on with Chelsea pushing for a comeback, however the record-breaking goal would not come as his side couldn’t break down a very good defence.

And there will be no other chance for Brown to become the sole all-time Youth League top scorer as he will be too old for next season’s competition – should Chelsea qualify as a result of their first-team’s Premier League finish.

5. Chelsea are set at right-back for years to come

There is current a lot of negativity surrounding Chelsea’s first team, with oene of their problems being an ageing and deteriorating squad. The usually dependent stars such as Cesar Azpilicueta are looking off the pace, but Chelsea fans should fear not.

Reece James, currently performing wonders on loan at Wigan Athletic, is already being tipped to replace Azpilicueta at right-back and some long-term competition could come through Chelsea’s academy.

In Monday’s Youth League final, Tariq Lamptey was a constant threat down the right side, giving Tiago Lopes serious problems with his pace and direct running style.

Inside the first 10 minutes, Lamptey should have recorded two assists after rinsing Lopes and playing in good balls to a team-mate in the area. But both times the shot was sent over the bar, by Luke McCormick and Conor Gallagher respectively.

Although his attacking prowess came as a result of him playing at wing-back, his skills can easily be transfered to a more defensive position as a standard right-back, with the 18-year-old also showing competence in that regard.

But, understandably, there were still some points of weakness in defence with Lamptey perhaps not supporting his centre-back Joseph Colley too much.

Improvements will come, however, with coaching to specific tactics and Lamptey could form a bright future at right-back alongside James.