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Man Of The Match Chelsea Starlet Shines In Thumping Nations League Win

The UEFA Nations League kicked off last night with the high-profile clash between Germany and France which ended in a 0-0 draw. While many people may still be confused as to how the competition works with its promotion and relegation from the various groups comprised of the now 55 countries which are part of UEFA, it got off to a flying start for Wales and Chelsea youngster Ethan Ampadu.

Wales kicked off their campaign last night in Cardiff against the Republic of Ireland in Group B and the Welsh side playing their first competitive game under the management of Ryan Giggs, fielded a side full of youngsters. After the stunning 4-1 win, Wales will be keenly looking to gain promotion to the top Nations league (League A) where the winners of the four groups advance to the Nations League Finals, with two semi-finals and the subsequent final determining the UEFA Nations League champion.

At the heart of the Welsh victory was Chelsea starlet Ethan Ampadu who was so solid at the heart of the Wales midfield playing in a holding role and he was totally deserving of his man of the match award.

Ampadu did not put a foot wrong, breaking up play, winning the ball back and distributing the ball in a calm, assured fashion belying his age. The Chelsea youngster also set up Aaron Ramsey for Wales’ third goal showing that he has more to his game than just defensive instincts.

Ampadu was a rock defensively for the Welsh and he justified his selection in glowing terms as Ryan Giggs opted to bring through the next generation of players leaving the likes of Joe Ledley and Chris Gunter out. The youngster is still only 17 years old and he made his senior Premier League debut for Chelsea against Huddersfield Town last December as a substitiute.

In a Welsh shirt last night, Ethan Ampadu showed why Chelsea went to such great pains to sign him, allowing Ryan Gigg’s young attacking forward line to run riot as Tom Lawrence, David Brooks and the sublime Gareth Bale were electric with Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey showing his class in a number 10 role.

Some may say Wales were facing a weakened Republic of Ireland team as the Irish were undoubtedly without the likes of Shane Long and James McClean plus other injured players who would have started but the Welsh team were much faster, aggressive and skillful throughout and could have scored more goals.

It was an inspired performance by Ampadu and his team-mates led by Gareth Bale who scored the thumping 2nd Welsh goal after Tom Lawrence had scored the opener after just 6 minutes with full-back Roberts adding a fine 4th goal in the second half after Ramsey’s cracking goal assisted by Ampadu had given Ryan Giggs a 3-0 half-time lead.

Considering that the last time the two teams met in World Cup qualifying Ireland won 1-0 to move on to the play-offs knocking Wales out of contention the result last night was rather stunning. Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs signalled his intentions to bring in a new way of playing for the Welsh with a high-pressing, high-intensity attacking style which was competently delivered by his young charges, ably assisted by their veteran team-mates like Bale, Ramsay and captain Ashley Williams.

Ampadu broke through with Exeter City where he made his debut and he was a hot commodity with many thinking he would join Arsenal due to his former footballer father being an academy coach at the Emirates but the youngster ended up joining the Blues after they agreed terms with Exeter.

Looking at the way Ethan Ampadu performed last night, it shows that Chelsea are continuing to sign and produce quality youngsters and if the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi can establish themselves in the Chelsea first team then it will incentivise such quality young talents as Welshman Ampadu to stick with the Chelsea set-up and become Premier League footballers at the club.

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