Chelsea U19 had to come back from going a goal down before eventually emerging as 3-1 winners in the UEFA Youth League game between Chelsea and Qarabag away in Azerbaijan.
The win ensured Chelsea’s qualification for the knockout stages of the competition, and Joe Edwards was happy with the performance of his players.
“We arrived knowing it was going to be a game when we were probably going to have a lot of the ball and then you are relying on your quality to open them up,” he told the official Chelsea website.
“In games like that, early goals can change it but we had the opposite, we had the situation where you are doing your best to play against a good, low block in tricky conditions and you have a couple of chances early on and you miss them. Then a bit of anxiety and frustration can start to set in and in the first half we had spells when we showed good quality and spells when we were really sloppy.
“Qarabag hung in there and made it really difficult and looked a threat themselves. They had a big chance early on which was a wake-up call for us. We spoke at half-time about staying calm but we were sluggish from the start of the second half and conceded a really poor goal, but then like it often does, that kicked us into gear. Panic did not set in, we made a couple of changes with Charlie Brown and Conor Gallagher coming on and they had a real impact. To get three goals in quite a short period was a big plus and it ended up being a routine final 15 to 20 minutes.”
All Chelsea need is at least a draw in the final group game against Atletico Madrid, and Joe Edwards is sure his team will do the job.
“All we could do is put ourselves in the driving seat so Atletico have got to come to Cobham and do something. That is where we wanted to be going into the final game,” said Edwards.