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Chelsea Reserves 1 Everton Reserves 1


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Chelsea welcomed reserve team football back to Stamford Bridge and launched a new league format with an entertaining game. Steve Holland's side took the lead through Fabio Borini and looked well on their way to three points following a first half they dominated with good possession football, played by a side containing six of the FA Youth Cup Final side. It was augmented by the more senior Michael Mancienne and Jacob Mellis and also contained 15-year-old Nathaniel Chalobah.

Everton, opposition due to the new nationwide set of fixtures, changed formation at the break and added an extra man in midfield. The Toffees equalised with a set-piece and tested the home team further as young Blues legs began to make mistakes, but Chelsea rallied strongly and came close to finding a winner three times in the closing minutes.

Everton could have scored inside 40 seconds of the first half as Joao Silva ran in behind the home defence but Sam Walker stuck out a hand and kept out a close-range effort.

Mellis, fresh from England duty at the recent European Under 19 Championships, had Chelsea's first effort but scooped it over and Borini, captaining the side, fared little better when slipped through by a well-weighted Josh McEachran pass.

Up the other end, James Vaughan brought a first-team presence and it took a clean challenge in the area from centre-back Rohan Ince, on his full reserve debut, to prevent the Everton striker bustling through for a clear strike on target.

Chelsea were enjoying territorial advantage however and won a free-kick right on the angle of the penalty area, whipped just a yard over by Gokhan Tore. Moments later Borini stung the hands of Jan Mucha, Everton's summer signing who was Slovakia's goalkeeper at the World Cup.

Chelsea's goal, scored on 21 minutes, followed a prolonged period of crisp Blues passing and pressure. Everton cracked when Chalobah's long pass was worked by Mellis to over-lapping left-back Patrick van Aanholt. The Dutchman picked out Borini who clipped the ball beyond the reach of Mucha from 10 yards out.

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Everton could have drawn level soon after had Walker not pushed Gueye's cross-shot over. Vaughan then tried his luck from range but shot too high.

There was almost a horror show of Rob Green proportions from Mucha when van Aanholt had a dig with a free-kick from further out than Tore's earlier effort and hit with less pace.It was grasped, then allowed to squirm free before being gathered again by the Slovakian in the nick of time.

All the promising play was Chelsea's. Chalobah in midfield was showing a good range of passing, McEachran was busy nipping in to win the ball and constantly looking to split the defence while Conor Clifford worked hard. Approaching the break, McEachran passed up the chance to shoot inside the area, instead tapping the ball onto to Tore whose shot was saved. Borini then curled a 40th minute shot just over.

The McEachran-Borini connection almost came off early in the second half but the Italian was well tackled before he was denied a headed goal by a Mucha save having met Van Aanholt's cross.

Nine minutes after the restart Chelsea gave the Merseysiders a sniff of goal but stretching Vaughan, who was unmarked, couldn't quite make contact with Gueye's cross.

The Blues were eventually undone by a set-piece two minutes later from a free-kick conceded by Tore. Floated in, Ross Barkley rose above the defence to nod wide of Walker's dive.

Chelsea had by now let the upper hand slip and another Barkley header needed a Walker save. Free-kicks were being conceded in dangerous places.

Chances at the other end were few although Conor Clifford had a 25-yard drive turned wide. Steve Holland gave it until the 78th minute to make changes but then brought on three subs.

One of those, Milan Lalkovic, was quickly on target but Mucha saved at his near-post. McEachran (pictured below) had threaded the ball between defenders.

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With five minutes to go, Chalobah could have capped his reserve debut with a goal when he pounced on a loose ball after Borini's shot was blocked but the schoolboy hurriedly sliced wide.

Another sub, Jacopo Sala caught a shot cleanly but that was saved and on 89 minutes, van Aanholt smashed a ball low towards the far post but Lalkovic couldn't adjust his feet in time to turn in a bouncing ball.

There was still hope when substitute Kaby went down under a challenge in a promising position but McEachran could only send the ball into the empty seats in the Matthew Harding Lower with 92 minutes on the clock.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Sam Walker; Billy Clifford, Rohan Ince, Michael Mancienne, Patrick van Aanholt; Conor Clifford (Milan Lalkovic 77), Josh McEachran, Nathaniel Chalobah; Gokhan Tore (Kaby Djalo 78), Fabio Borini (capt), Jacob Mellis (Jacopo Sala 78).

Everton: Jan Mucha; Aristote Nsiala, Shane Duffy (capt), Shkodran Mustafi, Jake Bidwell; Jose Baxter, Hope Akpan, Ross Barkley, Mageye Gueye (Nathan Craig 60); James Vaughan, Joao Silva (James Wallace h-t).

Source: Chelsea FC

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Chalobah was impressed in DM role

sry cant acknowledge this... i've watched the game and Chalobah gave away nearly every pass in the second half, he was really sloppy and connor didn't play at his best. I think kaby should've been introduced earlier in the second half and borini was sometimes too selfish...

in the first half chalobah was outstanding, but so was our complete midfield. the only once that impressed me the whole game where:

McEachran

vAanholt

sam walker (was sceptic about him, but shows real quality between the sticks... really really good reflexes)

and sala and lalkovic where impressing too

nontheless should've won, despite 20 Min. or so we completely owned everton. Mellis was superb until he slipped away in the second half, his first half was brilliant.

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Esk, I know you normally put together highlights of the games on Youtube so, presumably, you have access to the full 90 minute games at this level.

Can you upload the full game for download or, if you downloaded it yourself, where do you get it from?

Thanks mate. Appreciate the effort you put in.

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Mancienne was really uninspiring,I remember him getting caught out of positions numerous times.

Van Aanholt was excellent but I don't remember him actually defending tongue.gif

Borini didn't look like he can play in front by his own,he was either getting out-muscled or being caught offside all-night.

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EskWeston's Review:

Welcome to a new season of reserve team football at Chelsea football club. These match reviews for the reserves will be slightly different to a lot of other match reviews that you will see, as there are always so many different reports out there i am going to do something a little different. I will be giving a general overview of the game of how the team played but the focus of these reviews will be on how each individual player performed during the game. The idea is to give a better insight into the players for those who don’t know much about them and if you do know about them but didn’t catch the game then you will be able to find out individually how they performed.

Match Overview:

For the first game of the reserves season Steve Holland had the luxury of being able to pick pretty much whatever team he wanted. He was able to include first team squad members Patrick Van Aanholt and Michael Mancienne to add some experience in the back line and Fabio Borini leading the attacking. The rest of the team was basically players who played in the FA Youth cup last season. Jacob Mellis got a start on the wings in this game seeming to rubbish the roumers of a loan move to Vittesse, and Nathaniel Chalobah the 15 year old making his first reserve start in the holding role in midfield.

When the game started things seem to in favour of Everton, the Chelsea boys couldn’t keep possession and passes were going stray, Everton were applying good pressure. It didn’t last long at all though and eventually Chelsea brought themselves back into the game. What we was to see from then on in the first half was complete Chelsea dominance. It was almost like the first team playing out there. The passing and movement was brilliant. Josh McEachran pulling the string in the middle of the park, again highlighting just how much talent he has and Jacob Mellis working very well down both flanks to be heavily involved in everything that was good for Chelsea. Chances were coming thick and fast for the blues, balls were being worked out wide with crosses into the box, balls threaded through for Borini to run onto and delicate passing around the box.

Eventually the goal came when Borini found himself with space in the box to turn and pick his place in the goal to slot home. Many more chances were to be created in the first half and Chelsea should have been out of sight by half time, Everton just didn’t have an answer for the passing and movement of the Chelsea boys. They would come to regret not taking those chances though.

The second half saw predictably Everton come out with a much different attitude, they were determined first and foremost to stop us passing, this meant that they got a lot tighter to us and the game became much more physical which the boys were struggling to deal with. Everton got themselves on the front foot and started to create chances of their own. Eventually a ball into the box found 3 Everton players going for the same ball with only Billy Clifford for company and the ball got lofted over the head of Sam Walker. Eventually Chelsea got their passing going again and pulled themselves back into the game to create some more chances to try and win the game. The best chance came with minutes to go when some excellent work by Van Aanholt saw him fizz a ball along the floor into the box at an angle with Milan Lalkovic running through, Lalkovic could make contact with the ball which seemed to bounce over his foot. It just wasn’t to be however and eventually the game finished 1 – 1 much to the disappointment of the Chelsea boys.

Player Reviews:

Sam Walker: Sam is looking to establish himself in the reserves this season after an impressive season at youth level last year. In his first league outing he looked to have carried the same form over. He was solid and dependable. His shot stopping is top class and he made some very very good saves in this game, the best in the early minutes which was very quick reactions from him. Possibly caught a little flat footed for the Everton goal but on the whole his performance was good, his distribution was good also never rushing to boot it up the park and looking to start things from the back. A good start to his season.

Billy Clifford: Billy is another coming off the back of a very good season at youth level. Billy is a right back converted from a midfielder but he is starting to look like he has playing right back all his life. Very much in a mould similar to Ashley Cole Clifford works the wings very well taking every opportunity possible to get forward and beyond his winger which he did on a number of occasions last night. His balls into the box on the whole were very good and he gets in such good positions to whip the ball in. Defensively at times he had a tough time, he was marking a big fast lad, but his speed meant that more often than not he was never exposed from his forward runs.

Patrick Van Aanholt: A seasoned pro at this level Patrick looked like what he is, too good for this level. It would have been an excellent workout for him though and with Carlo Ancelotti looking on he would have seen a top class left back performance. Defensively he was very sound and going forward he just great, playing quick passing with Gokhan Tore he would find himself in good positions to pick out a cross or to find someone in good space to pass to never wasting possession. His best movement i already mentioned, a ball whipped in perfectly for Lalkovic, look out for it in the highlights.

Michael Mancienne: Michael’s future is still very much in the balance, will he go on loan? Will he stay? Personally i think he will be staying now to be involved with the first team. This game though i would say was the greatest for him. It started badly when he got caught in possession early and gave the ball away in our own box. For Michael with his experience he should be the dominant defender of the 2 but it was Rohan ince who was doing most of the work with Mancienne sweeping up behind which meant that has Chelsea were comfortable for the most part Mancienne didn’t have too much to do.

Rohan Ince: As i have already mentioned Rohan put himself about a lot in defence last night. He wanted to win every ball that came the way of the back 4 which more often than not he did. A couple of times he got too tight to his man and he got turned but he will learn the more he plays about when to get tight and when to not. One impressive aspect from him was his passing, he has a great range of passing and he was very accurate too spraying passed left to right and getting moves going. A good start to the season for him and hopefully he can improve his game because he has good ability.

Nathaniel Chalobah: 15 year old Nathaniel made a big step up in this game. His first reserve game at 15 years old is a big deal. And to be playing the holding role also which is not a regular position for him made it even more harder for him. But he took it all in his stride. He is incredibly comfortable on the ball and able to be strong in the tackle even though he is physically not as strong as those around him. Sure a few times he got caught out of position and a few passes went astray, but you would expect a lot worse from a 15 year old making his reserve team debut. What it boils down to is that Chalobah is another very talented young man and i think he will be a big talent for us going forward.

Connor Clifford: A little bit of a disappointing outing from Connor i felt. Not as involved as you would usually see him and a little less dynamic. We still saw a fair number of his hard challenges and he had a good few shots from outside the area, one in particular was a very good effort which the keeper pulled off a fine save for, the rest however were well off target. He just was a little bit out of sorts for my liking and i would have liked to have seen more from him. It wasn’t a poor performance by any means but i think he could have offered us a bit more, and his passing wasn’t the best, a lot more stray passes that we would like to see.

Josh McEachran: Josh is really starting to get a very good level of consistency to his game and i really hope he carries that through the season because it will put him in an excellent position to earn himself a number of first team call ups. He was right in the middle of all our good attacks, he moves with the ball so easily and he isn’t the quickest but he just glides around the pitch hardly ever losing the ball. His neat passing was opening doors all night and in the first half in particular Everton didn’t know how to handle him. He is so quick footed that he gets fouled quite a bit but he is a robust young man and deals with them well. The pleasing aspect for me was that physically he was more than coping, holding people off him and biting into tackles and coming out on top. Everyone knows Josh’s ability but if he continues to improve as he is then we can expect some big big things from him.

Gokhan Tore: You know what you are going to get with Gokhan, he will run at defenders and do the step overs and tricks to try and beat his man. His physical stature means he is hard to shrug off the ball also. If he is up against a weaker full-back then Gokhan is going to have a field day, if however he is up against stronger opposition then you will get a little inconsistency from him. Last night his full back was a big unit and Gokhan could not physically bully him, which made it harder for him. But he did well and was not greedy and played the ball off when he couldn’t beat his man. I feel Gokhan can do better and could be beast if developed to work on his negatives. It was a decent performance but i would like to see more.

Jacob Mellis: In an unfamiliar position for Jacob on the wings he had a very good game. Particulary in the first half he was instrumental in all the work we was doing going forward, popping up on either wing and passing the ball around well. The only problem was his decision making at the end was sometimes a little off and his shooting wasn’t the best. But he looked an experienced player now and worked well making the runs down the flanks. Jacob will probably find himself out on loan soon so this will have been a good exercise for him.

Fabio Borini: Last season Fabio had a frustrating time in the reserves. He couldn’t get any sort of consistency and goals were very hard to come by. This was a good way for him to start the season. We worked very hard to try and score goals. A little eager at times and found himself offside where if he had held his run slightly he would have been well through on goal. His hold up play was good and he took his goal very well. He will feel that he should have scored more with the chances that he had on goal and will feel disappointed in that, but his general play and involvement was very good and if he can pull off more games like that then he will only improve and earn more chances with the first team.

On the whole the performance was very very good bordering on exception. However lessons need to be learned and the main on is to take a leaf out of the first team and to start converting the chances they are given, particularly when given so many chances to score. Clearly the first team philosophy of play is being filtered down through the ranks, the reserve team have certainly grasped that very well and on another day we could easily have seen another 6 – 0 at Stamford Bridge. Lets hope this is a sign of things to come for the reserve season.

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Esk, I know you normally put together highlights of the games on Youtube so, presumably, you have access to the full 90 minute games at this level.

Can you upload the full game for download or, if you downloaded it yourself, where do you get it from?

Thanks mate. Appreciate the effort you put in.

Yes i have got the full 90 mins for this game. I don't download it myself and i won't be having it available for download i'm afraid. 2 Reasons, 1 i don't know how to go about that and 2 i don't have the time, i barely have the time to put together the highlights video as it is.

But the highlights for this game will be extended highlights, a 9 - 10 minute vid.

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@Esk great article. Agreed with everything you said. I feel the reserves team will play more attractive in the 4-3-3 this season than last(where they played the diamond). I think the 4-3-3 is the best formation for the McEachran Clifford partnership. The only question is where will Kakuta play in the team with Josh? I could see Kakuta taking on a more wing role e.g. Tore's position than a more central position

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@Esk great article. Agreed with everything you said. I feel the reserves team will play more attractive in the 4-3-3 this season than last(where they played the diamond). I think the 4-3-3 is the best formation for the McEachran Clifford partnership. The only question is where will Kakuta play in the team with Josh? I could see Kakuta taking on a more wing role e.g. Tore's position than a more central position

Kakuta has always been more of a winger. Kakuta not likely to play much reserve football this season i think, i think he is definately earmarked for more first team games.

The way the team played night was brilliant, need to be careful though to take our chances or we end up like Arsenal. The first team have a great balance with taking the chances, playing great football and taking anyone on in a physical battle. The reserves struggled for a while last night when it became physical, and they need to learn from that, more importantly they need to take the chances when they have them. Their keeper had a good game but we should have been out of sight by half time.

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Yes i have got the full 90 mins for this game. I don't download it myself and i won't be having it available for download i'm afraid. 2 Reasons, 1 i don't know how to go about that and 2 i don't have the time, i barely have the time to put together the highlights video as it is.

But the highlights for this game will be extended highlights, a 9 - 10 minute vid.

Fair play mate. Cheers anyway.

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does anyone have a website or anything that you can watch all or most of the reserve games?

i love watching them and seeing how our young players are progressing and want to keep up with them more this season

Depends, do you mean the full 90 minutes? Highlights can be found here for every game: My Youtube page don't think there is anywhere that has the full games

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one other positive not yet mentioned is Ross Barclay did a wreckless "tackle" on Chalobah that could have ended in a serious injury,but the kid sprung straight back up the way Running Back`s in American Football do when they`ve been hit hard,as if to make a point that despite their opponent trying to hurt them,they failed.

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