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Manchester United crowned U18 Premier League National Champions after defeating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea U18 1 – 2 Manchester United U18

Credit: Ash Donelon

Goals from Ethan Wheatley and Ethan Williams pushed Manchester United beyond Chelsea to be crowned U18 Premier League champions at Stamford Bridge.

The national title accompanies United’s U18 PL North triumph along with the Premier League Cup to close out a successful season.

Wheatley put the Northern champions ahead after 20 minutes, but Chelsea responded early in the second half through Josh Acheampong.

It was Williams’ strike that won the game for Adam Lawrence’s side, crowning them as national champions for the first time since the formation of the competition in 2012.

The win also means Manchester United have qualified for the UEFA Youth League, giving them another campaign of European football next season.

What Happened?

United dominated possession in the opening moments and when they didn’t have the ball, they were relentlessly closing down their opponents.

However, it was the Blues who managed the first shot on goal as Frankie Runham was found in the area by Ato Ampah, but it was a simple save for Elyh Harrison.

A long ball reached Wheatley who ran in behind and fired his shot hard and low, but the effort was tapped onto the near post by Max Merrick in the Chelsea goal.

In the 21st minute, Williams slid the ball through for Wheatley and the forward slotted home for yet another goal in a final, giving United the lead.

In search of a response, the ball dropped to Tyrique George on the edge of the area and the 18-year-old’s thunderous effort was blocked on the line by Louis Jackson.

After a commanding first half display, United held a narrow lead heading into the interval thanks to Wheatley’s composed finish.

It was the perfect start to the second half for the hosts as Acheampong connected with George’s cross to nod the Blues level in the 47th minute.

It took seven minutes for the young Red Devils to find answer to Chelsea’s early equaliser as Williams turned in a rebound to put his side back in front.

Just past the hour mark James Scanlan drove into the final third and found Wheatley in the area who twisted and turned his way into space, but the shot was denied in the end.

Chelsea had warmed to the tie and the second half was a much tighter affair, Harrison produced an excellent save to deny George with it all to play for in the final 20 minutes.

In the 81st minute Wheatley stole the ball from a defender and ran toward goal with options in the middle, but the goal scorer opted for a shot which slid past the far post.

Wheatley had a number of chances to put United out of side in the late stages but failed to convert, the Red Devils ultimately saw out the victory to claim the silverware.

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