Haran Naresh reports on an entertaining game that saw Chelsea U23s make deserved progress up the table.
Chelsea U23s came from behind to beat Manchester United U23s in an entertaining clash at the EBB Stadium. The win takes the Blues four points clear of Manchester United in the Premier League 2 table.
The visitors opened the scoring via Axel Tuanzebe, but replies from Dujon Sterling, Josimar Quintero, and Jacob Maddox gave Chelsea a deserved win.
The home side started on the front foot, monopolising possession and forcing Manchester United to spend most of their time in their own half. After surviving a tricky start to the game the visitors grew into the tie.
In the 10th minute United midfielder Josh Harrop hit a fierce shot which went narrowly wide.
Two minutes later Chelsea had a shot blocked in the penalty after Manchester United failed to clear their lines following a corner.
Manchester United midfielder Sean Goss began to dictate the game. In the 17th minute Matthew Olosunde delivered a brilliant right-wing cross which was deflected behind for a corner. Goss took the following corner which was dropped by Chelsea keeper Bradley Collins and resulted in another corner. Manchester United exploited Chelsea’s weakness of balls in the box from the following corner, United captain Tuanzebe heading the ball in to open the scoring.
The goal woke up the home side and in the 26th minute Fikayo Tomori hit the post with a powerful shot from the just outside the penalty area.
Chelsea equalised in the 30th minute after striker Ike Ugbo was played in behind and his pull back was met by Sterling, whose shot was deflected off Regan Poole and into the net.
Chelsea won a penalty in the 36th minute when Matthew Willock tripped Mason Mount inside the area. Jay Dasilva’s took the penalty which was saved by United goalkeeper Kieran O’ Hara. Dasilva’s attempt was a poor one, as it was too close to the goalkeeper.
Chelsea exerted considerable pressure on United’s goal towards the end of the first half. Ugbo was played in behind once again and his shot was saved by O’Hara. Chelsea winger Quintero floated a pass in behind the United defence which was met by Mount, but he could only steer a shot wide.
Tomori went off injured in the 51st minute and was replaced by Joseph Colley. A minute later Chelsea took the lead after Dasilva went on a brilliant run down the left-wing, going past three players before pulling it back to Quintero who curled the ball into the corner of the net.
Manchester United dominated possession at the start of the second half but wear unable to create any clear-cut chances.
In the 74th minute Demitri Mitchelle put in a dangerous cross into the Chelsea penalty area which was cut out by Trevor Chalobah.
Chelsea regained control of the game towards the end of the second half, passing the ball around with ease. Chelsea got their third goal in injury time after a scramble in the box following a corner where Maddox swivelled and rifled in the ball into the net.
It was a deserved victory for Chelsea. While Manchester United had some good moments they ultimately didn’t create enough chances.
Chelsea team: Collins, Sterling, Dabo, Chalobah, Tomori (Colley 51’), Scott (Barlow 90’), Quintero (Maddox 78’), Mount, Ugbo, van Ginkel, Dasilva
Substitutes: Muheim, Thompson, Sammut, Maddox, Colley
Manchester United team: O’Hara, Olosunde, Poole, Tuanzebe, Scott, Goss, Redmond, Willock (Kehinde 69’), McTominay (Doughty 81’), Harrop, Mitchelle
Substitutes: Doughty, Johnstone, Kehinde, Barlow, Boonan
Referee: Antony Coggins