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Chelsea Youth 3 Arsenal Youth 4


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Second half defensive errors cost Chelsea after two Jacopo Sala goals had given the Blues a comfortable lead at the interval. Four goals in the second period gave Arsenal the victory at Cobham on Saturday morning, with a last-minute chip denying Chelsea a draw we deserved after Josh McEachran had scored a late equaliser.

Academy manager Neil Bath, taking charge of the side alongside Mark Beeney, was understandably disappointed with the outcome.

'We spoke at the start of the game about being determined and asking for a bit of desire and passion. When we play Arsenal it is a big game for us, and the boys are all up for it. We had six or seven schoolboys in the squad, but at half-time we were 2-0 up,' he said.

'They matched us in the second half and we made some poor errors which is disappointing. The lads are gutted and so they should be, the second half wasn't good enough which led to them scoring four goals. At the end of the day, the one that really frustrates you is getting back to 3-3 and the last kick of the game wins it.

'We talk about development but sometimes it is about the result. You want to beat Arsenal and today was a very disappointing result.'

Chelsea started well as first captain Daniel Philliskirk and then centre-half Rohan Ince went close, the latter having his close range shot cleared off the line.

Arsenal, fielding a much-changed side from the one that won at White Hart Lane in the FA Youth Cup on Thursday, were largely ineffective going forward, but did force Chelsea goalkeeper Sam Walker into action on 22 minutes.

The 6'5 youngster did well to dive low to his left and push Rhys Murphy's effort around the post. That was as close as the visitors came to scoring in the opening period, while at the other end Chelsea were threatening.

Milan Lalkovic was having some joy on the right wing, and when he forced a corner, Jordan Tabor's cross was flicked on by Philliskirk and bundled over the line by Jacopo Sala to open the scoring on 27 minutes (pictured above, courtesy Mark Sandom).

A minute later it was nearly two as Deen Aziz Conteh took advantage of a defensive slip, but his cross cum shot rolled across the goalmouth and harmlessly wide. Shortly afterwards Lalkovic fired over from a tight angle.

A second goal arrived three minutes before half-time when again Chelsea won possession inside the Arsenal half. Philliskirk and Lalkovic were involved and then Billy Clifford crossed low for Sala to tap home.

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Arsenal responded quickly in the second half, two goals in eight minutes as Chelsea failed to clear were followed by a penalty on the hour mark when Walker, one-on-one brought down a forward. Murphy stroked home the spot kick to put the visitors in front.

The game looked to be slipping away from the Blues until a drive from the edge of the area from McEachran (pictured below) in the 87th minute restored parity. Sala and Philliskirk had combined to make space for the schoolboy, whose low, left-footed drive found the bottom corner.

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Sadly it wasn't enough as Arsenal broke clear of the high Chelsea backline on 90 minutes, and as he advanced Walker found himself helpless to deny a chip sailing over him and into the net.

Chelsea team (4-3-3): Sam Walker; Billy Clifford, Rohan Ince, Jack Saville, Jordan Tabor; Conor Clifford, Josh McEachran, Daniel Philliskirk ©; Milan Lalkovic, Jacopo Sala, Deen Aziz Conteh (sub Aliu Djalo 69).

Source: Chelsea FC

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