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Fa Youth Cup Report: Chelsea 1 Manchester City 1

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Chelsea's Under 18s will head up to Manchester for the second leg with the same halfway stage scoreline as the successful semi final against Aston Villa.

Gaël Kakuta (pictured) was the Chelsea scorer, netting a second-half equaliser in what was an even game of good quality youth football.

A crowd of 11,980 filled the majority of the lower tiers at Stamford Bridge; there were thousands of flags, plus support from a good proportion of the first team squad plus team management and club directors.

The first moment of hope in the game was Chelsea's - midfielder Jacob Mellis and striker Morten Nielsen almost finding a way through the centre but halted by a linesman's flag.

Man City went straight up the other end and had a very good penalty appeal turned down as Patrick van Aanholt appeared to clip winger Vladimir Weiss in the box. The ball fell to Daniel Sturridge who shot just wide.

On 10 minutes, Miroslav Stoch and Mellis worked the ball forward to Nielsen but the Danish centre-forward's shot was too tame to trouble the keeper.

A minute later, Gaël Kakuta tricked his way through a crowd of players just inside the box but skied his effort.

There was a good tempo to the game with both side's showing a high standard of technique.

On 17 minutes, the highly-rated Sturridge, who has two Man City first team goals to his name, showed his quality by skipping past Jeffrey Bruma and driving across the pitch before drawing a full-stretch save from Rhys Taylor.

Two minutes later, Stoch had a free-kick from 25 yards that he curled five yards wide of the left post.

Man City from the first corner of the game, forced Taylor to save again on 21 minutes when centre-back Ben Mee headed on-target.

Chelsea then had the ball in the net from a Nielsen lob but the referee had spotted a deliberate handball as the Chelsea striker beat the last defender. A yellow card was produced.

On 28 minutes, Nielsen, found well by Kakuta, worked space for himself and rolled a shot only a yard wide.

The two keepers continued to be kept busy, City's Greg Hartley requiring his best save of the night to keep out Tejera after a free-kick routine had deceived the City defence.

Then for the second time in the game, Chelsea had a goal ruled out, Tejera well offside when Kakuta supplied him.

Stoch and Tejera attempted speculative efforts from distance as Chelsea, for the first time in the game, kept Man City under sustained pressure.

Twice the home side put balls into the area towards the head of Tejera, the most attacking of the midfield three, and had City's defence unsettled. It had been a good closing 10 minutes to the first half for the young Blues.

Four minutes after the restart however, Man City scored, Weiss finding Sturridge after a diagonal run. The Man City striker finished well across the keeper.

Kakuta was the first to attempt an equaliser - twisting towards the target but the shot was too straight.

On 57 minutes it was Chelsea's turn to feel aggrieved over a penalty decision, Mellis driving into the area onto Nielsen's flick and seemingly caught by Boyota's slide. Again the ref waved play on.

On the hour, Nielsen, who had been enjoying one of his most influential games in the youth team, benefited from some Kakuta magic. His shot was kept out by a sprawling save, the rebound falling safe.


At the other end it was soon Taylor's turn to save well, this time from David Ball, minutes before the same striker wasted a great opening by shooting over.

Just before that, Adam Phillip, the three-goal 'super sub' on this cup run came on for Nielsen.

City nearly came a cropper by their own actions on 66 minutes as a sliced clearance was deflected over when it could so easily have found the net.

The respite was brief. From the corner, taken by Michael Woods, Kakuta, the second shortest in the Chelsea team, rose high at the near post and headed in.

Now Chelsea sensed a second and Tejera went within whisker after some excellent footwork.

On 78 minutes, Mellis was booked for a foul as both sides, understandably given the pace at which young legs had played the game, started to slacken in intensity.

Kakuta however was really coming into his own, drifting inside from wide. He had a chance from a Phillip pass but drilled over and City midfielder Andrew Tutte tested Taylor again. Chelsea's Wales Under 21 keeper had shown good hands throughout.

On 89 minutes, Mellis won a crunching challenge in the middle of the park. Kakuta side-stepped clear of the defence 20 yards out but his rocket curled an agonising yard wide.

And there the chances ended.

The second leg is on Wednesday 16 April at the City of Manchester Stadium, kick-off 7.45pm.

Away goals do not count double in the FA Youth Cup.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Rhys Taylor; Nana Ofori-Twumasi ©, Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt, Ben Gordon; Michael Woods, Sergio Tejera, Jacob Mellis; Miroslav Stoch, Morten Nielsen (Adam Phillip 61), Gaël Kakuta.

Scorer Kakuta 66

Booked Nielsen 23, Mellis 78

Man City (4-4-2): Greg Hartley; Kieran Tripper, Dedmane Boyota, Ben Mee, Ryan McGivern; Vladimir Weiss, Andrew Tutte, Scott May, David McDermott (Angelos Tsiakus 71); Daniel Sturridge, David Ball (Abdi Ibrahim 86).

Scorer Sturridge 49

Source: Chelsea FC

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This was an excellant game of attacking and exciting football and most of it comming from the Chelsea side. We once again with this team looked the part and we have a fantastic group of young players. The City team had moe experience with more older players than us as we had 2 16 year olds in our side. Their strongest aspect was their attack with skillful and physically strong Sturridge up against a young and least experienced players of the Chelsea defence, but overall they coped very well.

We had more than enough good chances to go a few goals up but it just didn't happen. Sergio Tejera was running the show in the creative midfield role and giving a masterclass in that role. He was the one who made everything tick for us upfront and created some excellant chances for himself.

Going into the second leg i am confident that we can win much like we did going away to Villa but we need to be strong at the back and take our chances better down the other end. One thing is for sure and that is that it will a very exciting game!!!

Player Reviews:

Rhys Taylor: An excellant performance from Taylor in this game, he pulled off some cracking saves to keep us in the game at times and was very comanding with his defenders and made sure that everything was organised as well as possible. One of his best displays and he is definately growing into a great keeper now. 8

Nana Ofori-Twumasi: He did a lot better in this game than in previous games but in the overall run he has been our worst player, which considering the performances we have had isn't a massive critisism. But there is room for improvement. 6

Jeffrey Bruma: For a 16 year old he really is top class. He has fantastic ability, his style does remind me a lot of Carvalho. He is prone at the moment to getting too tight o his man at times but he is learning and is a top top prospect. He did really well coping with the threat of City. 7

Patrick Van Aanholt: Has looked better and better as the season has gone on, playing in the reserves has given him some good grounding. He is strong on the ball and doesn't get pushed off easily and he has good feet and able to work the ball out and make runs upfield when needed. Another who is looking very good at the moment. 7

Ben Gordon: Ben is a strange one for me and one i have not quite made my mind up on! At times he looks very good and at other times he seems to get beat quite easily. He has a lot of potential there and he did good in this game but i think he can improve. But to be fair to him the man he was marking was a very very good talent. 6

Michael Woods: He has picked his form right back up again and he looked good in this game. Playing a bit more unusual defensive role, but not in the Maka way. He got forward well and times and was good cover for the defence, although i feel they needed more cover than they had. Woods had a couple of half chances to score too, starting to look very good again. 7

Jacob Mellis: A fantastic signing Jacob is. He really is a fantastic player, he gets forward so well and creates chances for himself and others. The ammount of chances that he finds himself is amazing and his final choices are at the moment letting him down. But overall he was great, he works so hard forward and back and has great ability on the ball. Maybe should have done better with a couple of chances but he did very very well. 8

Sergio Tejera: Probably the best i have seen him play so far. Amazing in the playmaker role. And he did exactly that, he made the plays. Not only that but he got in some great positions himself. City just couldn't deal with him, i have no idea what the stats are but his chances to score must have been in or near double figures and i can't believe he didn't score! Top class 9

Miroslav Stoch: He still isn't getting the ball enough for my liking, so isn't making the impact he can. But he was more involved than he was in the second leg at Villa. He created some good chances and ran at the defence well when he could. He showed what he is all about and i just think we need to be giving him the ball a bit more often. 7

Gael Kakuta: What a name for himself this boy is making. 16 years old and he is unreal! His ability with the ball at his feet is just sensational and i am yet to see anyone effectively snuff him out the game. He once again stole the show with his display and Kakuta is going to be a name that a lot of people are going to be waiting to see in the first team quite soon! Unbelievably for his size scored with a great header from a corner and could have had some more. 9

Morten Nielson: A great performance from Morten, it showed the most when he went off and we wasn't as effective, his hold up play is top class and he has good ability on the ball. He brought others in a created chances for himself. Unlucky in my opinion to have a goal chalked off for handball, but he impressed me a lot in this game. 9

Adam Phillip: Another who has had an amazing cup run. Gives us a different option to Nielson but also effective. He tends to drift out wide more often than not. But when he gets on the ball he has great ability and he knows how to find the back of the net too. Didn't get any chance in this game but he did well. 6

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