Tottenham and Chelsea Progress as Liverpool are Thrashed in NextGen Series
By Adrian Back | February 21, 2013 9:32 PM EST
Chelsea's Under-19 side produced a stunning performance to progress to the quarter-finals of the NextGen series as goals from Islam Feruz and Jeremie Boga secured a memorable away win over Barcelona.
Chelsea were forced to stave off a second-half onslaught from Barcelona to claim their place in the final eight as the Catalan side desperately attempted to claw their way back into the game after Feruz had opened the scoring in the first half.
The former Celtic youngster has been in sensational form for Chelsea this season and it was of little surprise when the striker broke the deadlock just three minutes before half-time.
Barcelona had created two early chances through the fine work of Adama Traore, who was outstanding on the night, but after a surging run and neat pass to Todd Kane from Jeremie Boga it was Feruz who slotted into an empty net.
Seconds after the whistle blew for the second half, Connor Hunte was sent off after a second yellow card and Barcelona then took control of the tie. The hosts pushed hard for an equaliser but rarely caused keeper Mitchell Beeney too many problems.
It was an outstanding defensive display from Alex Davey and Kane that frustrated the Catalans all night, despite the best efforts of the Barcelona side, and in particular midfielder Sergi Samper who was at the heart of all the Catalan's good work.
In added time Jeremie Boga produced a piece of sublime skill inside the box to beat his defender and fire his shot into the far corner to secure victory.
Tottenham also successfully made it through to the next round after edging past Paris Saint-Germain on penalties after the game finished 1-1 after extra-time.
Shaquille Coulthirst gave Spurs the lead with a neat finish on thirty-four minutes but the hosts struck back through Alexis Sainrimat in the second half after his shot from inside the box found its way past keeper Lawrence Vigouroux.
Both sides played with an attacking intent but the final pass was lacking and neither team could find a winner in extra-time. The tie went to a penalty shootout, and it was Tottenham who held their nerve best to win 4-3 and book their place in the Quarter-Finals.
With Tottenham and Chelsea following in the footsteps of Aston Villa, who had beaten Ajax 2-1 in Amsterdam, it was left to Liverpool to try and pull of a fourth away victory for the Premier League academies.
However, the young Liverpool side were outclasses by a superb Sporting Lisbon team that strolled through to the next round thanks to a Carlos Mane brace and goals from Joao Palhinha and Wilson Manafa.
The Portuguese side looked confident in possession throughout and Liverpool found it hard to break through a very well organised midfield.
Mane found the net twice within ten minutes to give the home side the advantage going into the break but Liverpool came out rejuvenated in the second half as Jordan Ibe and co looked to launch a comeback.
But Sporting maintained high pressure and Palhinha found space to make it 3-0 before Manafa put the icing on the cake to knock the Reds out of the competition.
Arsenal will have the chance to join their London neighbours in the quarter-finals when they face a difficult away trip to reigning Champions Inter Milan on March 6.
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