A lot of praise for Fulham’s academy swept through the national and local London press leading up to the FA Youth Cup final first leg against Chelsea.
Andreas Christensen, Jay Dasilva and Isaiah Brown were hailed by the Evening Standard as players to watch for the Blues.
It was safe to say neither side disappointed with Fulham just edging last night’s tie at Craven Cottage.
The first half was goalless but the second-half produced five goals, of which Fulham grabbed three.
One main talking point happened in the first period though. Patrick Roberts, so highly rated that he missed out on England’s European Under 17 Championship elite qualifying campaign because of first-team duties, was bought down by Ola Aina inside the box and Fulham had a penalty.
Moussa Dembele however could not convert. His Panenka attempt had too much height and hit the crossbar on its way over.
They had to come from behind, though. It was in fact Dasilva who opened the scoring when he hammered in an effort after some good work by Brown. Dom Solanke, who has been so prolific in the Barclays Under 18 Premier League this season, almost doubled the lead soon after.
Fulham responded well and found themselves level when Moussa Dembele headed home from a Dean O’Halloran corner.
Emerson Hyndman gave the home side the lead when his low shot from the edge of the area deflected off Christensen and into the bottom corner.
It was three for the Cottagers when Cameron Burgess nodded another O’Halloran delivery into the net.
Charly Musonda gave Chelsea a late lifeline and some hope for the second leg at Stamford Bridge. He cut inside from the left and struck past Marek Rodak in the hosts goal.
The second leg takes place next Monday – on the same ground that Norwich City won the competition last season.