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Chelsea Reserves 2 Manchester United Reserves 2


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In what was both an eventful and historic match at Cobham, Chelsea's reserve side were denied victory by a last-minute penalty. The record books suggests this pre-season double header against Manchester United represents the first reserve fixtures between the clubs and the Blues second string looked well on course to level the wins following last week's 1-0 defeat in the north-west.

Goals by Jacob Mellis and Scott Sinclair gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead at half-time in the re-match but despite being the side under pressure for most of the first 70 minutes, Man United finished strongly to tie up a game of the quality expected from these clubs.

Such was Chelsea's determined opening that the post was struck with less than 30 seconds on the clock, Tejera's cross-shot rebounding back off the far post.

The Blues continued to look good in the first 15 minutes. It took some sharp defending by Patrick van Aanholt to snuff out one Man United break but the game was largely being played in the visitors' half.

When Miroslav Stoch sent over a cross to the far post from the left, Carl Magnay (pictured top) got plenty of power on his header and it took a good save from Ben Amos to keep the ball out.

On 21 minutes Scott Sinclair launched an aerial attack on the Man United net from out near the right touch line but with the keeper backpedalling, it landed on the roof of the target.

Chelsea, with Sinclair and Stoch playing wide of Di Santo and plenty of support from full-backs Magnay and Van Aanholt, were using the width well and another searching Stoch ball was attacked by his forward line colleagues before a foul ended the assault.

There was no stopping the Blues on the half-hour however when a free-kick was played into the box by Tejera and laid into the path of Mellis (pictured below left) by Jeffrey Bruma. The England Under 17 international had timed his run well and finished off coolly from close range.


Chelsea lost Di Santo with 10 minutes to go to half-time. The Argentine hadn't recovered from a shoulder injury sustained when up-ended on the run by a foul challenge from Man you defender Richard Eckersley some minutes earlier. Morten Nielsen was the replacement.

Before the interval, Man you striker Tom Cleverley shot from distance, the effort comfortably pouched by Hilario. Stoch was more menacing with a curling 20-yard drive that just cleared the bar at the other end.

Chelsea's second came on the stroke of half-time and it was a beauty, Scott Sinclair dispatching a header on the run beyond Amos' right hand.

The Slovakian had met a cross by Magnay, excelling in a less familiar position, the ball having been swept out to the right by Tejera.

Brendan Rodgers's side continued to restrict Man United to shots from outside the area at the start of the second half and when the team from the north did find good possession in the box, Rhys Taylor, a half-time sub for Hilario, was quick off his line to block.

Chelsea were troubling the opponents with aerial balls into the box. Keeper Amos was unconvincing when coming for a free-kick, Michael Mancienne's header flying over, and Nielsen was also able to nod goalwards although his effort lacked direction.

The midfield three of Mellis, Tejera and Bridcutt had enjoying the upperhand but there was a hint of what was to come on 65 minutes when Man you levelled the woodwork strikes, a cross-cum-shot by Daniel Drinkwater flying beyond Taylor but onto the far upright and out.

It then took a good save at the same post from the Chelsea keeper when Federico Macheda volleyed a cross on-target with power.

The visitors finally did pull a goal back with quarter-of-an-hour remaining. Fabio Da Silva (one of two full-back brothers for Man you in a Brazilian version of the Nevilles) found the back of the net with a shot from 25 yards. A touch from Taylor could not keep it out.

The Wales Under 21 keeper did save from Cleverley soon after but Man United were pressing hard for an equaliser. Substitute Cameron Stewart fired worryingly close but Chelsea could have sealed it when Stoch on the volley went similarly close.

In the dying moments it was a foul by Bridcutt on Drinkwater that changed the result. Darron Gibson slotting the spot-kick home.

'It was very disappointing the last 20 minutes because it took the shine off,' said reserve manager Brendan Rodgers after the game.

'It has been two terrific games. We should have been able to close the game out. Instead we were rush and conceded a stupid penalty but the first 70 minutes we were very good and must take that on board.'

Chelsea Hilario (Rhys Taylor h-t); Carl Magnay, Michael Mancienne, Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt (Tom Taiwo 72); Jacob Mellis (Ricardo Fernandes 85), Sergio Tejera (Fabio Ferreira 73), Liam Bridcutt ©; Scott Sinclair, Franco Di Santo (Morten Nielsen 35), Miroslav Stoch.

Man United Ben Amos, Rafael Da Silva (Cameron Stewart 80), James Chester, Richard Eckersley, Fabio Da Silva; Sam Hewson (Magnus Eikrem 80), Darron Gibson, Daniel Drinkwater; David Gray ©, Danny Welbeck (Federico Macheda 14) Tom Cleverley.

A re-run of the game will be shown on Chelsea TV at 6.30pm.

The reserves begin their league season on Monday with a game away at Arsenal.

Source: Chelsea FC

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