Chelsea’s ambition of winning the UEFA Youth League for the third time in four years was crashed after losing 3-0 to Barcelona in the finals on Monday.
The young Blues failed to perform anywhere near their usual standards and were comprehensively beaten.
Chelsea youth team coach Joe Edwards described the 3-0 UEFA Youth League final defeat to Barcelona as an absolute disaster.
“It was an absolute disaster from start to finish, it was so unlike us,” admitted Edwards.
“I don’t want to be too damning across the board on the lads because it is a fantastic achievement to get to the final of this competition.
“We had a message from Frank Lampard before the game, saying that once you get to a final and you don’t win, you wish you hadn’t got there because it hurts so much. Frank is right.
“We spoke about the fact there wouldn’t be any shame in losing to Barcelona if we could walk in and say we gave everything we could.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get anywhere near the standards we normally set for ourselves. Physically, we didn’t look as sharp as them, on the ball we were poor and they really punished us today.”
Edwards urged the players to see the loss as part of the learning curve in their young careers.
Edwards added: “There have been plenty of occasions when we have been jumping the pitch with the trophy and we have to feel that pain inside and so whenever the next time they have this opportunity, they make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“We set high standards from the first team down and this is a club where you’re expected to win. And even if you can’t win, when you get to those big games, you really have to show you are capable of playing in them.
“And today we really disappointed, we really let ourselves down. The boys need to accept that.”