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Tottenham Reserves 0 Chelsea Reserves 3


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There is experience in the Chelsea reserve side that travels to play Tottenham tonight with first team squad members in action as their colleagues take on Wigan.

Paulo Ferreira, Tal Ben-Haim and Steve Sidwell all start and there is a second appearance for January signing Branislav Ivanovic (pictured).

The 24-year-old Serb impressed on his reserve debut a fortnight ago and will line-up tonight in a defence containing three internationals.

Behind them in goal will be Stuart Searle with regular between the posts, Rhys Taylor, on the bench with the FA Youth Cup final just 48 hours away. Searle made his debut in the home fixture between these sides back in September and made several saves as the scores ended level at one-all. Scott Sinclair was on-target for Chelsea.

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The venue for the tonight's game is Leyton Orient FC and it's the chance to build on the 3-0 home success against West Ham last time out when Claudio Pizarro (not involved tonight), Fabio Ferreira (a starter) and Jack Saville (on the bench) scored.

The reserves are finishing the season strongly with two wins and a draw in the last three outings. They complete the season at home to Aston Villa next Monday.

Tonight's trip to Brisbane Road is another opportunity for young Argentine striker Franco Di Santo to add to his solid start of three goals in six games. Should he help his side to victory, Chelsea will overtake seventh-placed Tottenham in the table.

Spurs, coached by former Chelsea striker Clive Allen, contain three players who have appeared in their first team this season, including Brazilian defender Gilberto and Wales full back Chris Gunter, both January signings. French midfielder Adel Taarabt completes the trio.

The game kicks-off at 7pm. Highlights will be shown tomorrow on Chelsea TV.

Chelsea Stuart Searle, Paulo Ferreira, Branislav Ivanovic, Tal Ben Haim, Shaun Cummings, Jimmy Smith, Steve Sidwell, Ricardo Fernandes, Fabio Ferreira, Franco Di Santo, Phil Younghusband.

Subs: Rhys Taylor, Jack Saville, Carl Magnay, Jordon Hibbert, Daniel Philliskirk.

Tottenham Tommy Forecast, Chris Gunter, Gilberto, Jake Livermore, Troy Archibald-Henville, Dorian Dervite, Kyle Fraser-Allen, Jacques Maghoma, Tomas Pekhart, Adel Taarabt, David Hutton.

Lee Butcher, Cian Hughton, Takura Mtandari, Daniel Hutchins, Jonathan Obika.

Source: Chelsea FC

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A Franco Di Santo hat-trick gave Chelsea reserves a comfortable win against London rivals Tottenham at Brisbane Road, continuing his impressive scoring record since his January arrival from Chilean club Audax Italiano La Florida.

The Argentine has settled quickly into life at Stamford Bridge, scoring six goals in seven appearances and his performance against Spurs was nothing short of scintillating.

Chelsea had fielded a strong line-up that included four first team players and with those riches at his disposal, Brendan Rodgers made things count.

Chelsea had looked confident in the early stages and with the experience of Paulo Ferreira and Tal Ben-Haim at the back alongside January arrival Branislav Ivanovic, the midfield was able to play further up the field and press the Spurs central pairing of Jacques Maghoma and Dorian Dervite, forcing them onto the back foot.

It was Paulo Ferreira's first start for the reserves this season and his presence gave his namesake Fabio Ferreira licence to go forward knowing the flank was well protected. It was an interesting experiment that allowed the winger to express himself and demonstrate his talents as his pace and movement on the right troubled the home defence throughout.

Rodgers' troops have been in good form of late and it wasn't long before they carved out the first goal scoring opportunity after five minutes. Spurs had been pretty much pegged in their own half and the early pressure almost told when Shaun Cummings, starting at left-back, latched onto an excellent ball from Jimmy Smith but under pressure from Chris Gunter and the advancing Tommy Forecast in goal, his mishit shot flew into the stands.

Chelsea continued to press, however, and Franco Di Santo almost punished some slack marking with a looping header that landed on the roof of the net.

Sidwell and Smith were controlling things in midfield and the latter was looking particularly promising in his more advanced role. His excellent vision allowed Chelsea to spread the play and brought the wingers into the game as Spurs struggled to cope.

With Chelsea enjoying the territorial advantage, however, Spurs hit them on the counter attack with a long clearance that found Adel Tarrabt and caused panic in defence.

The young Frenchman has been dubbed the next Zinedine Zidane by many who have followed his rise through the ranks from the lower echelons of French football and he almost found the opener with an excellent run into the box but as he prepared to unleash his shot Sidwell dispossessed him at the vital moment.

Taarabt's chance had looked promising for the home side but with Ivanovic, making his second competitive start in Chelsea colours, looking comfortable in defence alongside Ben-Haim, it was the closest they would come.

The chance of the half came mid-way through when Chelsea carved open the Spurs backline.

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A well worked move on the right involving three Chelsea players found Di Santo unmarked on the penalty spot but the Argentine fired his effort over, chipping the paint of the cross bar. With Ricardo Fernandes and Fabio Ferreira involved, it was a move full of Latin verve but just lacked the cutting edge to put the Blues ahead.

But after the break, they didn't have to wait long when Di Santo scored his first from the spot. Smith had broken free from his marker with an excellent run and was picked out by Sidwell. As he advanced into the box he was cropped by a late challenge from Maghoma and the referee made no hesitation as he reached for his red card to dismiss the midfielder. Di Santo struck his penalty confidently to the goalkeeper's right leaving Spurs with an uphill struggle.

To their credit, the Tottenham players did well to weather the storm in the immediate aftermath of Maghoma's dismissal but with a man to the good Chelsea spread play with ease and it wasn't long before Di Santo punished them further with a fantastic goal.

Fabio Ferreira was at it again on the right and his cross to the edge of the area was beautifully executed into the top corner. It left Spurs stunned but such was Di Santo's class the 100 or so fans in Spurs colours that turned out for the game couldn't help but applause his brilliance. Had the strike been for the Chelsea first-team it would no doubt be a contender for Goal of the Season.

He wasn't finished there either and when Fabio Ferreira was brought down in the box Di Santo completed his first Chelsea hat-trick with another well taken spot kick to leave Spurs singing the Blues.

Chelsea Stuart Searle; Paulo Ferreira (Carl Magnay), Branislav Ivanovic, Tal Ben Haim, Shaun Cummings (Jack Saville); Steve Sidwell, Fabio Ferreira, Jimmy Smith; Ricardo Fernandes (Daniel Philliskirk), Franco Di Santo, Phil Younghusband.

Scorer Di Santo 3

Booked Sidwell

Tottenham Hotspur Tommy Forecast; Chris Gunter, Gilberto, Jake Livermore, Troy Archibald-Henville; Dorian Dervite, Kyle Fraser-Allenb, Jacques Maghoma, Tomas Pekhart; Adel Taarabt (Daniel Hutchins), David Hutton

Booked Archibald-Henville

Sent off Maghoma

Source: Chelsea FC

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Cant beat a good yid trouncing. 2 Ferreiras sound as though they did well, and all reports seem to point to Ivanovich being a first team back four regular next time round, due to his supposed position versatility

Yup, we need to see Ivanovic in the first team. At reserve level he looks supremely comfortable...

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Di Santo seems to be rocking the reserves level. I don't know much about the reserves league, but those 3 goals should prove that. In the pre-season or when we've lost the PL officially, he must be used in the first-team.

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Di Santo's goal record at reserve level is impressive. But what is more impressive is how quickly he has adapted and how much of a quality player he is. I have only seen Drogba play the lone striker role as well as Di Santo has done since being here.....

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