Saturday, 9 May 2015

Chelsea u18s 3 v 3 City u18s

Away games are pretty much always out of reach for me so I have to rely on what I can find on twitter. I tend to find fans of the opposition at the academy games are a little more level-headed with their views of the game, and Chelsea Youth are no exceptions. Naturally it's a little more Chelsea-centric, but their summary is a good read. 

MCFC's official report can be found here too -

The general consensus seems to be that we started poorly. I can't say I'm surprised. This wasn't our best line-up and Chelsea are formidable at this level. Due to the nature of youth football, with players skipping between teams at will - Garcia for example began the season eligible for the u16s and came on for the EDS's u21 squad last night - you often get fragmented squads with games overlapping and players moving up and down age groups depending on the game. The squad boundaries are thinly defined, basically.  

We started with five of our FA Youth Cup final team. Haug between the sticks, Humphreys and Adarabioyo at the back and Celina in midfield, with Buckley up top. The rest of the team was made up of talented, but raw, u16s. Though Chelsea's team was equally stripped back with many of their usual academy stars elsewhere. Perhaps some with the first-team squad for tomorrow? They definitely deserve that chance. Either way, Chelsea are a lot more confident than this particular City u18 team and I can't say I'm surprised by reports that they were basically too strong for us, going in 2-0 up at half time. A third for Chelsea just after the break (The hugely talented Abraham breaking the forty goal barrier for the season) could have opened the floodgates but credit to the City players, they fought back immediately, pulling one back through Fernandes and grabbing two more late goals to level the game at 3-3. The last being an impressive free-kick from Celina.

Tom Dele-Bashiru's early substitute appearance, with Patching hooked in the first half, by all accounts appeared to be a key move for City giving us strength and security to free up Celina, one of the more senior members of this team, to dictate proceedings in the second half. Fernandes too was apparently bright. Given the circumstances, this was an impressive result for a team that's struggled recently. They're building them strong at the City Football Academy and its encouraging. You can have all the technical ability in the world but its nothing without focus and application. It would have been easy to give in but they didn't. It'll certainly be interesting to see how things develop for the u18s next year with most of this current generation stepping up to the EDS level and I expect some more graduates from the very talented u16s to step up too. 

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