Chelsea used a staggering nine schoolboys in their under-18 league game against Arsenal.
Nine Chelsea schoolboy stars saw playing time in the Premier Academy League clash against Arsenal earlier today.
Seven started the match and two featured off the bench as a young Blues team came from 2-0 down to salvage a point against the Gunners.
With Chelsea’s UEFA Youth League match against AC Milan just around the corner, Adi Viveash took the decision to risk several younger players in his side in a gamble which initially appeared to backfire.
Goals from Arsenal players Renny Smith and Stephy Mavididi gave the Gunners a lead which they looked like protecting before late strikes from two of the schoolboys named; Jake Clarke-Salter and Tammy Abraham.
The point doesn’t do much for either side in terms of Premier Academy League position with the Blues staying in fourth while Arsenal continue to struggle near the foot of the Southern League just five points away from bottom place.
The nature of the result bodes well not just for the under-18 side but for Chelsea’s academy system in general, showing that the quality from the very youngest players at the club is at a high level.
Who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing one or two of the schoolboys who featured today in the first team in four or five years.
#CFCU18s this morning features seven Under-16s in the starting eleven against Arsenal. Fantastic chance for the younger boys.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) February 15, 2014
Full Time: Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal. The youngest Blues team of the season stage a late comeback from two down to earn a point.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) February 15, 2014
Nine schoolboys saw playing time today, more than in any game this season. All did well, two scored, and they did well to earn a point.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) February 15, 2014
image: © Jason Bagley