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Chelsea's youth side succumbed to an impressive Fulham performance today, despite battling throughout the game. The Blues rallied after each Fulham goal but failed to utilise the chances created, unlike the hosts, who built on a Danny Hoesen opener with goals from Karim Laribi and Alex Smith.

The last time these two teams met, the Blues came back from a three-goal deficit to win 4-3, courtesy of a Frank Nouble hat-trick, but unfortunately he was missing from today's line up.

Instead Marko Mitrovic was in the centre of a three-man attack, with Jacopo Sala and Adam Phillips switching on the wings throughout the fixture.

There were other changes to the line-up which hosted Fulham back in October, with Jan Sebek starting between the posts while Tom Hayden took up his position in central defence alongside Jack Saville.

Conor Clifford and Rohan Ince (pictured) were then included in a midfield led by captain Daniel Philliskirk.

Graeme Le Saux joined Ray Wilkins on the sidelines for the game, and watched as the Blues took the first opportunity on goal with Sala unleashing a through-ball only for Phillip to be denied by Wesley Foderingham between the Fulham posts.

Hayden then kept Chelsea in the game with a clearance off the line before heading a Tabor corner onto the Fulham bar, narrowly missing a chance to give us the lead.

It was Fulham who broke the deadlock five minutes from half time when Hoesen cut inside Saville before launching a shot into the top right from just inside the box.

Chelsea rallied from the restart, and it wasn't long before Phillip had a shot on goal. Breaking down the right he cut inside to send a shot into Foderingham's arms from an acute angle.

Then, 10 minutes into the second half, Fulham made it two. Laribi sprinted down the right flank before cutting inside and, after dancing his way past Saville, smashed a bouncing shot into the bottom right from the edge of the box.

Once again Chelsea fought back, but Dermot Drummy decided it was time for a change. Milan Lalkovic came on for Mitrovic in the centre while Philliskirk made way for Aliu Djalo in midfield; Clifford took hold of the captain's armband.

Now it was Chelsea's turn to apply the pressure. Nikki Ahamed continued to send in dangerous crosses from the right, with one missing Lalkovic's reach by a matter of inches and instead bouncing across the face of goal.

Sebek then performed a couple of acrobatic saves to keep the deficit at two before Sala released a through-ball into the box for Phillip, following a counter attack down the left.

Unfortunately, despite collecting the pass with ease, Phillip's subsequent shot flew across the face of goal and out for a Fulham kick.

A couple of offside decisions went against Chelsea before our best chance of the game arrived when Sala sent a dipping cross to Phillip at the far post, but the header that followed fell right into Foderingham's arms.

Fulham then finished the game off in the dying minutes. After failing to clear from danger, Chelsea paid the price when Alex Smith smashed a shot between Ahamed's legs and into the bottom right from 20 yards out, 3-0 with only two minutes to go.

'It was an unfortunate result but we have not taken our chances,' explained youth team manager Drummy after the game.

'We played really well in the first half and we could have scored a few goals, in the second we had a few chances but we have paid for giving the second goal away which opened the game up for them.

'I'm not disappointed with the attitude, but you have to take your chances and I'm disappointed with the result,' added Drummy.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Jan Sebek; Nikki Ahamed, Tom Hayden, Jack Saville (Ben Gordon 84), Jordan Tabor; Conor Clifford, Daniel Philliskirk © (Aliu Djalo 61), Rohan Ince; Jacopo Sala, Marko Mitrovic (Milan Lalkovic 61), Adam Phillip.

Source: Chelsea FC

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