Lewis Baker and John Swift gave Chelsea the goals they needed to come back from one goal down and finish top of the Barclays U21 Premier League table last night.
They had already ensured their qualification to the semi-final stage of the competition but put the icing on the cake against their London rivals.
Hector Bellerin’s first-half strike gave them work to do but Islam Feruz set up Baker for the equaliser. Baker scored his fifth goal in three games and his 17th this season with a fine back-heel as he met Feruz’s low cross.
Arsenal captain Isaac Hayden had the best opportunity for Arsenal to spoil Chelsea’s party as his looping shot came back off the crossbar.
Another impressive goalscorer this season has been Swift and he provided the winner. Baker turned provider with an inviting cross, in which Swift lost his marker and made it first to, nodding past the goalkeeper Matt Macey to put Chelsea top of the league and make them first seeds for the semi-finals.
Chelsea boss Dermot Drummy told the club’s official website: “We’re absolutely delighted, for ourselves and for the Academy and the culture that Neil Bath (the Academy manager) sets here.
“We’ve finished first over a season and that’s a fantastic achievement for my team. It’s a credit to how the boys and all my staff have worked this season. We had a setback against Schalke in the UEFA Youth League but since then we’ve showed a fantastic attitude.
“We showed a great mentality tonight to win the match. We didn’t have a good first half but Kasey Palmer came on at half-time and got us going forward and gave us more freedom, and then Islam Feruz comes off the bench and makes a goal too. We worked tirelessly against a good side on a big pitch and it was that work-rate and effort to get ourselves back in the game that was a big plus for me.”
Elsewhere in yesterday’s fixtures, a single goal from Josh Murphy early in the second half saw Norwich City beat Wolves 1-0.