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Chelsea Reserves 3 Liverpool Reserves 1


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Nathaniel Chalobah (pictured above, no. 6), Fabio Borini and Adam Phillip were the scorers in a deserved league win over Liverpool at Cobham on Monday afternoon, following up well on an away win at Newcastle earlier this month. Chalobah's goal was the first at this level for the 15-year-old; Borini's strike was the best of the game and Phillip repeated his feat at St James Park of scoring having come on as a sub. Two of the goals came from Gokhan Tore assists.

Chelsea were down to 10 men by the time the third goal went in during the final quarter of an hour, Liverpool having pulled their goal back to make it 2-1 just before the break.

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Jose Bosingwa continued his comeback from injury with 70 minutes in this game and the Portuguese international right back was forward early on supplying an over-hit cross and then a shot, but it was Tore who first tested the Liverpool keeper with a low effort.

Martin Hansen, the man between their posts, soon had to react sharply to keep out a Borini shot which he saved onto the near post.

Liverpool were then asked to survive a succession of goalmouth scrambles, the closest they came to conceding coming from a Borini shot which pushed over from close range.

Chelsea had started well but were fortunate when they left Danny Wilson unmarked at the far post but the Liverpool centre-back headed a Jonjo Shelvey cross over.

The Blues were soon back down the other end and Sala almost forced one of the Merseysiders' defenders to slice a cross into his own net. From the corner, the home team scored, Chalobah meeting Tore's delivery to head down into the turf, the ball bouncing high and into the net despite the presence of a man on the post.

On 25 minutes Steve Holland was forced into a change when Milan Lalkovic on the run appeared to pull a hamstring. Kaby came on as a direct replacement.

Jan Sebek in the Chelsea goal saved on 27 minutes when Billy Clifford, who initially had done well to cover back and win the ball, gave it to David Amoo. But again Chelsea responded well to a chance allowed to our opponents.

A swift attack was finished off by Borini who received a good pass from Tore and finished it with style, shooting across the keeper and just inside the far post. Twenty-seven minutes had been played and Liverpool were finding it hard to get hold of the ball.

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Bosingwa showed he is still not quite up to full speed as he struggled to keep pace with the powerful Amoo down the flank on one run but the cross came to nothing.

However on 42 minutes Liverpool crossed again from the left and this time Rohan Ince's clearance was poor, Fernandez finding the net from the edge of the area to make it 2-1.

Danny Pappoe had a firm header cleared off the line near the beginning of a second half that begun with two Chelsea changes. Adam Phillip came on for Tore who had been struggling with an injury before the interval, and Aziz Deen-Conteh replaced Jacob Mellis, that one aplanned sub due to Mellis's presence in tomorrow's Champions League squad.

Liverpool nearly scored an equaliser that wouldn't have reflected the balance of the game when Sebek failed to meet a corner and the ball was headed wide just at the far post, and Pappoe conceded a foul for which he was booked as the Blues play lost a little of its impetus.

There was a save from Kaby from a tight-angle as the home side did stretch Liverpool at the back just beyond the hour before the scheduled removal of Boswinga on the back of the Mellis substitution and two injuries meant a man disadvantage for the final 20 minutes.

The 10-men continued to look strong and the game was made safe on 77 minutes when Borini made the most of a great ball by Billy Clifford into the corner, skinning the full back and crossing low for Phillip's first-time finish that went in via a deflection off Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom.

The away team, understandably given their numerical advantage, had the better of the final minutes but couldn't find a way through the imposing Pappoe/Ince central defence. There was much for manager Steve Holland to be pleased about against a club traditionally strong at this level.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Jan Sebek; Jose Bosingwa, Danny Pappoe, Rohan Ince, Billy Clifford; Jacopo Sala, Nathaniel Chalobah, Jacob Mellis (Aziz Deen-Conteh h-t); Gokhan Tore (Adam Phillip h-t), Borini, Lalkovic (Kaby 25).

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Martin Hansen; Stephen Darby, Andre Wisdom, Danny Wilson, Jack Robinson; Daniel Pacheco, Jonjo Shelvey; Thomas Ince, Jesus Fernandez, David Amoo (Chrys Mavinga 71); Nathan Eccleston.

Source: Chelsea FC

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EskWeston’s Review:

The third match of this reserves season put another new and tough challenge into our path. This time in the shape of Liverpool. Again there has been a big gap between games which is never ideal and with a Champions League game the following day that too had an effect on the team. The first team will always be priority and in this game we saw just what it can do for the reserves.

In the previous 2 games played so far we saw us completely dominate Everton and only come away with a draw, then we saw a game against Newcastle that went one way and then the other but one that Chelsea did not at all control but saw us come away with all 3 points. This game looked like it could go the way of the Everton game at one point but the team dug in and managed to keep their lead intact and come away with another very good win.

Jose Bosingwa was involved from the start of this one which was a very good sight for us Chelsea fans, he was set to play 70 minutes and that is exactly what he did. On the comeback trail to fitness it was very good to see him back in action. Nathaniel Chalobah continued his role holding the midfield and Fabio Borini returned to the starting line up.

Right from the off Chelsea were playing some very good football and Liverpool couldn’t handle them. Steve Holland was calling from the bench for the movement of his players and no more than 2 touches on the ball. It was very good stuff and it constantly put the Liverpool defence under pressure and they were making basic mistakes because of that pressure.

The first goal came from Chalobah, who rose highest from a corner to win the header, he actually headed the ball into the ground but it bounced up over the defender and into the goal. It was a nice goal for Chalobah who had a very impressive game overall. The second goal was all Fabio Borini, a good run from Gokhan Tore put through Fabio on goal, the defender thought that he had pushed Borini wide enough but a quality finish put the blues 2 goals up.

An injury to Milan Lalkovic saw early involvement for Kaby Djalo. Chelsea continued to look good but after a while the play became a little too casual and near the end of the first half a very sloppy clearance from Rohan Ince fell straight to the Liverpool forward who rifled home with the help of a deflection. Half time came and it saw Chelsea use their last 2 subs, firstly Jacob Mellis came off because he is going to be involved in the Champions League game, he was replaced by Adam Phillip. Also due to taking a knock in the first half Gokhan Tore came off and was replaced by Aziz Deen Conteh.

Liverpool were putting up more of a fight in the second half, a lot of that was down to the changes Chelsea were forced to make and the change in formation that brought with it. Things looked even harder for Chelsea when as planned Jose Bosingwa went off at 70 minutes leaving us to play with 10 men for the final 30 minutes. The Chelsea boys worked hard to keep possession of the ball and restrict Liverpool. But Chelsea eventually managed to extend their lead once again after some very good work by Borini down the right hand side and whipping in a cross which fell to Adam Phillip to shoot, Phillip’s shot wasn’t the greatest but the mis-hit managed to find its way into the back of the net.

From then on it was just a matter of Chelsea holding on to their win and not doing anything too silly. This they managed to do and ended up coming away with a very impressive win that was fully deserved and made this Liverpool team look very ordinary indeed.

Steve Holland has this team playing very well indeed, secondly these players, most of whom graduated from the FA youth cup winning team are working so well together as a team and know each other’s game inside out. It is a formula that is working time after time. Individually a lot of these boys are not of the highest quality ability wise, but together they work very well and use their strengths to overpower teams and play some very very good football indeed.

Player Reviews:

Jan Sebek: With Sam Walker still having first team involvement due to Hilario’s injury problem it meant that it was another outing for Jan Sebek. Sebek didn’t have too much to do in this game because of the dominance of his teammates. However when called upon he did OK. I don’t think his level is anywhere near as high as we would want it to be and certainly Sam Walker is a better keeper than him. I would be surprised to see his involvement here go beyond this season. A decent keeper but just never took it up a level.

Jose Bosingwa: As i have already mentioned it was fantastic to see Jose back in action again. He played really well also, showed fantastic pace being able to skin his younger opponents at will with them having a head start. Defensively he had very little to do and was barely tested. Looked as sharp as ever and i don’t see him having any problems getting some first team involvement soon.

Billy Clifford: Played in 3 positions during this game, firstly in the unfamiliar position of left back, then in the centre of midfield and finally in his normal position of right back. A solid game from him without putting a foot wrong. While playing left back he found it difficult as he wanted to always use his right foot so very rarely went the outside of his man as he would at right back. But a better performance from him than in the last game which was good to see.

Rohan Ince: Rohan is still looking good, and the more games that he plays the better he is getting. When things we very easy for Chelsea he did get complacent which is something we need to stamp out of him, also at times he would not take the simple option and overplay at times. But he still had a good game and forming a good partnership with Danny Mills.

Danny Mills Pappoe: Danny is still just getting games under his belt following his injury. Hard to remember at times that he is still very young and was a school boy last season. He certainly doesn’t look it and is consistent every time he plays at the moment. There are still small mistakes he is making but that will go with time.

Nathaniel Chalobah: Amazing that the only real action we have seen of Chalobah is in first team pre season and every reserve game so far, basically skipping the youth team altogether. This was by far his best game to date, and a sign of what he is capable of, also why they are playing him in the defensive midfield role. He showed some lovely skills on the ball and for the first time really looked so comfortable, in a similar way to McEachran is on the ball. Looking forward to seeing how he progresses now, this was a very promising performance from the young man.

Jacob Mellis: Only played the first half of this game because he will be with the squad for the Champions League game and he looked good. Was very comfortable on the ball and was controlling the midfield well. A very solid performance from him and would have been nice to see him play the whole game but he will be very happy with his first team involvement.

Jacopo Sala: When Jacopo plays in the central role he always (to me anyway) seems to be far more involved in the play that when he is out wide, he will always look to get on the ball and move it on. He had a very good game, he isn’t a spectacular player but he is an all round good player who offers a lot to the team and it was good to see him having a good game here.

Milan Lalkovic: Moved back out to the more familiar wing rather than last times centre forward role. He was looked good and having good involvement in the game before he pulled up with a muscle problem, a problem that is running riot through Chelsea at the moment.

Gokhan Tore: Another player suffering what looked like a muscle injury. Came off at half time but before that had one of his better games, didn’t give the ball away as he has been doing and had a number of good runs that the defenders couldn’t control, the best one being to set up Borini for his goal. A much improved performance, again would have liked to see him play the full game.

Fabio Borini: Fabio did exactly what he needed to do. He stood up and showed Ray and Carlo exactly what he can offer. Was strong with his hold up play and showed some good skill. Worked very hard and set up the third goal brilliantly. Good to see Fabio back on this sort of form, and if he can carry this on in training and in reserves games then it will not be long before he gets a chance this season in the first team. A very good outing for him.

Kaby Djalo: Came on for the injured Lalkovic and played wide left which was a little unusual for him. As always very good on the ball and showing some good skills, will very rarely give the ball away. Kaby will be disappointed with his minimal involvement so far this season, but if he continues to work hard and play well when given the chances then he will play more.

Adam Phillip: Adam certainly looks like he has bulked up while he spent time in the treatment room. He is still scoring goals whenever he plays which is what you want your strikers to do, he did OK, maybe needs some work on his hold up play. Not sure at the moment where things go for Adam, if he works hard though he can come out of his injury problems looking good.

Aziz Deen Conteh: Came on for the second half to play left back. Was more defensive duties than attacking. I like Aziz and think he will be a quality left back, so it was a little disappointing to see him not starting this one.

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a bit strange kaby isn't a starter already, can't see why, he nearly always does well hope he gets more involvment in the Reserves...

Well in last nights game it was because Jacob Mellis needed game time, Nathanial Chalobah's development has been classed as "high priority" and Jacopo Sala is further along so gets priority.

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