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Chelsea Youth 3 - 3 QPR Youth (Friendly)


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Chelsea's Under 18 side put on an impressive display today as they hosted Queens Park Rangers for a six-goal thriller.

Goals from Jordan Hibbert and Frank Nouble saw the Blues come back from behind before relinquishing the lead in the dying seconds.

Youth team manager Paul Clement was away for tomorrow's reserve game in Torquay so assistant academy manager Dermot Drummy took up his role on the touchlines for the Under 18's pre-season friendly.

There were new arrivals in the side as Rohan Ince and Milan Lalkovic moved up from the Under 16s to gain some experience with the older age group, while Vincenzo Camilleri played his first game after arriving from Italy.

Pirez played up front with the number 9 shirt as he took part in a trial for the Blues, and Jan Sedek and Aldi Haxhia both made appearances between the posts.

Tom Hayden and Conor Clifford also made their maiden appearances with some strong defensive displays in the right-back and central midfield positions respectively.

The game began in Chelsea's favour as Fabio Borini paired up well with Billy Joe King on the left to collect some dangerous balls on the edge of the box.

It took 10 minutes before the first shot on QPR's goal when Hibbert struck a crisp chance from 18 yards, only for Elvins to collect between the opposition's posts.

Tabor continued to send balls into the box from the left flank as Nouble, Hibbert and Saville all attempted to attach themselves to the crosses.

But it was the visitors who would take the lead when Jevonne Malloy latched onto a pass across the face of goal to knock it beyond the reach of Sebek and into the bottom right after 12 minutes.

Chelsea retaliated immediately with Nouble skimming the post twice before Clifford surprised everyone with a 35 yard shot that sent Elvins scrambling back to his line.

Borini then began to prove his ability as he danced around the defence and into the danger zone several times, only just missing out on the final pass to either Nouble or Pirez, who always seemed a few inches short of the mark.

As the first half drew to a close it was Chelsea who were controlling the game, and, with a little fine tuning, an equaliser seemed inevitable.

Haxhia came on to replace Sedek between the posts while Tom Hayden came on for Pirez. Borini then moved up beyond Nouble who took the attacking role while Ahmed moved up alongside Hibbert to allow Hayden a place in the backline.

This meant the Blues took up a 4-4-2 formation with Clifford just hanging back behind the other three midfielders.

The change allowed Nouble and Borini to attack more and it wasn't long before they were troubling the QPR keeper with several shots that flew only inches wide.

It was then time for the two Under 16s to join the ranks, so Clifford gave way to Ince while Nouble came off for Lalkovich while Borini led the attack.

It didn't take long for the equaliser to arrive when Ahmed sent a clever cross into the path of Hibbert who smashed the ball into the bottom right in the 77th minute.

Nouble then returned to the line-up as Tabor came off from the left wing and Camilleri was replaced by Clifford. The Blues took up a three at the back formation with Clifford just in front.

Within five minutes of the change the Blues were behind once more when King was beaten to the ball by Malloy who dribbled into the box before squeezing the ball past Haxhia.

But Chelsea still controlled the possession, and Lalkovic soon shone with some defence-splitting runs down the right.

It was Lalkovic's successful pairing with Ahmed that set up Chelsea's second goal when the Under 16 chipped the ball over the top of two defenders before sending a cross back toward Ahmed in front of goal, forcing a QPR centre-back to put the ball into his own net.

Seconds after the restart Ahmed and Lalkovic were at it again, and, with a move almost identical to the second goal, Lalkovic sent a ball bouncing into the path of Nouble who calmly tipped it beyond the line.

The score was now 3-2 and there was only seconds left on the clock, but QPR were not finished.

Malloy managed to break down the right from the kick off and get himself in a dangerous position in the box before sending the ball into the bottom left of the goal, the game finished 3-3.

'It was very pleasing, my main observation of the boys today was when they got tired they showed the determination to work through it,' explained Drummy.

'The new boys impressed us as well.

'So I am very pleased, because we were trailing and then we showed the determination to get in front in the end.

'But sometimes we fell asleep, that's a development we will work on. We have to except it and push the boys on.'

Chelsea (4-2-1-3): Sedek (Aldi Haxhia 45); Nikki Ahmed, Vincenzo Camilleri, Jack Saville, Billy Joe King; Conor Clifford (Rowen Ince 60), Jordan Hibbert; Fabio Borini; Frank Nouble (Milan Lalkovich 60), Pirez (Jack Haydon 60); Jordan Tabor.

Source: Chelsea FC

Edited by EskWeston
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