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Chelsea Youth 7 Ipswich Youth 2


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The Under 18s bounced back in emphatic style from a heavy defeat at Bristol last week with a devastating display of attacking football at Cobham on Saturday. Lead billing goes to Italian Fabio Borini for a hat-trick, including one goal from the penalty spot, but he was ably supported by Ireland Under 17 international Conor Clifford who contributed two goals. Frank Nouble and Jacopo Sala also made the scoresheet.

Chelsea played well from the first whistle. Jordan Tabor, who swapped places with Ben Gordon from the previous week and played left-back, fed the ball inside to Josh McEachran who combined with Ben Gordon and Borini for some neat football.

McEachran threaded a beautiful ball behind the centre-half and Nouble ran through and drilled it across the goalkeeper and in off the post.

On 15 minutes, Nouble (pictured below) had a good chance for a second after Sala crossed from the right-hand side but sent a free header into the keeper's hands.


One minute later, the young Blues scored a fantastic goal which started down the right with full back Tom Hayden. After patient play, the ball was switched with a big diagonal pass to Sala. The Italian drove inside and played into Nouble who flicked the ball up for Clifford to rattle it in on the volley and off the bar.

The third goal came on 18 minutes from a penalty award that might have been a little fortunate, the full-back paying the penalty for a lunging tackle on Gordon. Borini stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way (pictured top).

Another goal came two minutes later when Sala, Borini's fellow Italy Under 17, headed in a Tabor corner at the near post. Chelsea went in at the break four goals to the good.

Ipswich were the first to find the net after the break. Hayden was caught out of position as the ball was played out to the Ipswich left-sided player who drove inside, benefitted from a lucky ricochet off Billy-Joe King and slotted it home.

On 53 minutes, Clifford began the move that made it 5-1 when he picked the ball up in midfield, slid it inside to Sala who squared to Borini. The defender tried to handle the shot but it went in off his hand.

Substitute Billy Knott played a part in the sixth. Crossing left-footed from the right, he delivered to Borini, who in his attacking midfield role, ran between central defender and right back and accurately headed in at the far post for his hat-trick.

On 65 minutes, King misplaced a pass at the back which went straight to a central midfielder who from 35 yards lobbed Jan Sebek to make it 6-2.

Another Chelsea substitute, Marco Mitrovic, then shot, only to see his attempt tipped over the bar by a defender who was subsequently dismissed. The keeper dived the right way but Clifford converted the penalty low in the bottom corner to complete the scoring.

'After last week against Bristol we weren't best pleased and it was very important to make amends,' reports youth team manager Paul Clement.

'We started excellently and we could have had more from a really good attacking performance. The second goal was superb as anyone who catches it on Chelsea TV will see.

'We are disappointed with the two goals conceded because we know in a tighter game, those mistakes could be crucial but special mentions go to Fabio for his hat-trick and a really pleasing display from Conor.

'It was a good team performance with lots of contributions from all over the field and Jan Sebek also made two very good saves in the second-half.'

Chelsea Jan Sebek; Tom Hayden, Daniel Philliskirk ©, Billy-Joe King, Jordan Tabor; Conor Clifford, Fabio Borini (Aliu Djalo), Josh McEachran (Marco Mitrovic); Jacopo Sala, Frank Nouble, Ben Gordon (Billy Knott).

Scorers Borini 3, Clifford 2, Nouble, Sala.

Source: Chelsea FC

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