Groupe Elite 03 May 2023, 18:18

Dominated in the second leg, the Elite Group knocks out Chelsea on penalties!

Dominated in the second leg, the Elite Group knocks out Chelsea on penalties!
After winning the first battle in the Principality against the Blues two weeks ago (3-2), Damien Perrinelle's players this time were pegged backin London on Tuesday evening (2-1) before having the last word after a penalty shootout.

Narrowly beaten, but through to the next round! Two weeks after their win at the Performance Centre against Chelsea’s U-21s (3-2), the young players of the AS Monaco Elite Group lost by the narrowest of margins in the return leg in England (2-1). It was a defeat swept away by the penalty shootout which ended this double legged tie, at the end of which the Rouge et Blanc progressed.

A good start thwarted by the Londoners

Largely dominating in the first half of the first leg, captain Jordan Semedo’s teammates struggled at the start of the return leg. A first set piece from the Blues fortunately did not worry Yann Lienard (3′). On the other hand, the Monegasque goalkeeper was forced to concede a quarter of an hour into the game, when a cross from the British side was nodded in at the far post (1-0, 15′).

When you are not necessarily having your best day, you still have to show combativeness and repeat your efforts. Sometimes you have to know how to work on these values. So from a mental point of view, it was rather positive, even if there were shortcomings in the choices we made and technically, with a lot of waste. But this in the learning at the highest level, along with consistency.
Damien PerrinelleOn his players' performance

Yacoub’s immediate response

Not beaten, far from it, the young talents of the Academy responded quickly, as they had two weeks ago, and equalized in stride through Béchir Yacoub, well found by Mamadou Coulibaly (1-1, 19′). Originally, it was Jules Béry, who assisted in the first leg, who started the play. There followed a few opportunities without great danger, until a loss of ball in midfield resulted in the Londoners’ second goal just before half-time (2-1, 43′).

Two Gambardella winners on the pitch

The second half was marked by few changes, with in particular the entry of freshly crowned winner of the Coupe Gambardella with the AS Monaco U18s, Mayssam Benama, as the Rouge et Blanc tried to regain control of the game. But Chelsea managed their advantage well, and the tie would finally be decided in a penalty shoot-out, the two teams being tied (4-4), on aggregate over the two games.

We came here with the objective of winning the tie over two legs. It's job done! On the other hand, on the way there are things to complain about. We lacked intensity and dynamism throughout the match. This explains why we are performing less well than we did two weeks ago at home. But I like the resilience shown by my players.
Damien PerrinelleManager, Elite Group

A winning penalty shootout!

It was a shootout in which Yann Lienard impressed by stopping the second and third shots of the hosts! And even if Ritchy Valme, also crowned at the Stade de France, hit the post, the scorer of the day, Béchir Yacoub, finally sealed the victory for his partners (2-4). It was a great conclusion to this high-level tie against the U-21 team of the 2021 European champions. Well done, lads! 👏

Match details

Tuesday, May 2 – Chelsea Academy

Chelsea FC U21 2-1 (2-4 penalties) AS Monaco Elite Groupe 

Halftime: 2-1

Goals: Yacoub (19′) for AS Monaco 

AS Monaco: Lienard – Platret, Valme, Béry, Semedo © – Baranik, Bamba, Coulibaly – Yacoub, Baglieri, Efekele

Substitutes: Benchaouch, Couto, Benama, Mayoute, Decarpentrie, Bakali, Kouassi

Manager: Damien Perrinelle

It's a great opportunity for us, especially since it's not necessarily a good memory for the first team. In any case, it's always a good challenge to play Portuguese teams which are renowned for their organisation. It will be a different kind of football, and we will see how we will adapt, in which way we want to play this match be it on the athletic or technical side of things. We will think about all this in the next few days.
Damien PerrinnelleOn the next matchup against Braga