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Chelsea Reserves 4 Bayern Munich Reserves 0


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A strong Chelsea reserve side impressed as it secured a comfortable victory in a prestigious friendly match at Cobham. Daniel Sturridge netted twice and Fabio Borini who played the second half also scored twice as first-team squad players Ross Turnbull, Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt and Josh McEachran were given important match practice.

Last season's Champions League finalist have a renowned academy and sent over a team with many youth internationals for the game specially arranged to give young players experience of foreign opposition football. Bayern were reduced to 10 men after an hour of the game,

In blustery conditions at the start of the game, Sturrridge turned sharply and threatened to send Gael Kakuta through on goal but the pass was too strong, and then Turnbull saved a near-post shot from Dennis Chessa.

The best move of the game so far, on 19 minutes, ended with Jacopo Sala firing an ambitious volley over after Jacob Mellis had crossed from the left.

When Kakuta whipped a low cross in from the same flank four minutes later, Sturridge was promisingly placed at the near post but couldn't make contact as he slid in.

McEachran, playing deep, was prompting his team forward with balls to the more advanced Mellis but the search went on for ways to penetrate the Bayern defences.

The Blues did have a strike on target after advanced left-back Van Aanholt exchanged passes with Sturridge on the edge of the area but it was straight at the keeper.

The opening goal, that had been preceded by a long period of Chelsea dominant in possession, owed much to the awareness of right-back Billy Clifford who intercepted on halfway and then played forward a pass that allowed Sturridge to beat the offside flag. The England Under 21 international side-stepped the keeper for an expert striker's finish (pictured top). There were 10 minutes to go until the break.

Two minutes into the second half Sturridge turned centre-back Fjoluson who was marking him inside the Chelsea half and raced in on goal, only to shoot at the keeper. Kakuta then did similarly after cutting into space from the right, the Frenchman switching wings twice during the game.

The second goal came 10 minutes into the second period and originated from a fatal hesitation by the Bayern defence that allowed Sturridge the ball. He played it to unmarked Borini who needed no second invitation to beat Bortel.

The rain was now hammering down and Bayern's afternoon was about to become even greyer when Fjoluson was shown a red card for a last-man foul on Sturridge who had been sent through by Mellis's best pass of the game.

The conditions played a part in preventing a Chelsea third after Van Aanholt's well-struck shot on the counter-attack slipped under Bortel but stopped on the soggy turf before crossing the line. Sala knew he was offside as he tapped it in.

Van Aanholt was yellow carded for a sliding challenge before Sturridge's second goal which was the product of another of his razor-sharp turns. Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, he spun and struck the ball low into the far corner with 15 minutes remaining.

Kakuta teased a ball into towards Sala as the quest went on for a fourth but it squirmed free.

Three minutes from time Borini matched Sturridge's tally when he was in the right place to tap in after Clifford had wormed his way through and had a shot parried.

'The game was very worthwhile for more than one reason,' reported reserve team manager Steve Holland.

'Some of the first team fringe players have got a very important 90 minutes of high quality football under their belts and it has been a very positive experience for all our players, right from Daniel Sturridge who is our most senior player down to 15-year-old Nathaniel Chalobah.

'The more experience they can get against potential Champions League opposition and European playing styles, the more it will help them hopefully break through here at Chelsea.

'Tactically Bayern played with a midfield diamond which we don't face very often and they had a lot of control of the ball in the first half without being particularly dangerous, and they pressed us quite a lot high up the pitch. They had some talented players for sure. It was only really in the second half that we managed to get a firm grip on the game.'

Chelsea (4-3-3): Ross Turnbull; Billy Clifford, Jeffrey Bruma, Nathaniel Chalobah, Patrick van Aanholt; Jacopo Sala, Josh McEachran, Jacob Mellis; Gael Kakuta, Daniel Sturridge ©, Gokhan Tore (Fabio Borini h-t).

Bayern (4-1-2-1-2): Henning Bortel; Dominik Traunmuller (Marcel Thomas 12), Cuneyt Koz, Jon Fjoluson, Florian Pflugler; Emre Can; Fabian Hurzeler Felix Stemmer 58), Rico Strieder; Dejan Janjatovic (Maxi Rothenbucher h-t); Florin Friesenbichler (Lukas Grill 62), Dennis Chessa.

Source: Chelsea FC

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EskWeston’s Match Review

Yesterday saw an unusual event at Reserve Level, we saw a team from abroad come over to play a friendly. This isn’t of course the first time that this has happened, 2 seasons ago we saw AC Milan bring a reserve team over to Cobham in a game which we also won 4 – 0. This time it was Bayern Munich who Chelsea would play host to and it gave us the same outcome, a convincing 4 – 0 win.

Bayern Munich fielded a relatively young side, with the average age of 17. Chelsea also fielded a young side but there was a smattering of experience in the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Ross Turnbull. There was more first team experience in the Chelsea side with Patrick Van Aanholt, Jeffrey Bruma, Josh McEachran, Gael Kakuta and Fabio Borini all featuring. The young Nathaniel Chalobah also featured once again, this time at centre back alongside Jeffrey Bruma.

This game was also duplicated elsewhere throughout Europe with other European reserve teams going head to head and it is hoped that it is something that can happen more often. With the way that the reserve league is set up any additional games would be most welcome and games against European opposition would be more than helpful to the development of the players. An additional half a dozen games would make a huge difference to reserve team football.

Obviously with no history of games the Bayern Munich team were a unknown entity, however Chelsea had fielded a very strong and talented team and we would have hoped to have been the dominant side. And that is exactly what we was, it very difficult conditions the young Chelsea side kept possession very well and limited to Bayern to a very small number of half chances and nothing that really troubled Ross Turnbull. In this game Josh McEachran was playing the holding role and making things tick (incidentally not a position i want to see Josh in long term) whilst Sturridge was leading the line very effectively indeed.

The goals were very well taken by Sturridge and Borini who came on in the second half for Gokhan Tore, both forwards are certainly natural strikers and could have added more to their tally on another day. The midfield with Josh holding and Jacob Mellis and Jacopo Sala offering the drive was very comfortable. Gael Kakuta once again not quite showing his true ability although he did start to play a lot better near the end of the game which was good to see. The back 4 of Clifford, Bruma, Chalobah and Van Aanholt were very comfortable all game and kept Bayern at bay.

All in all it was a very good exercise for the players and another good result for the reserves. The performance was controlled and they played very much in the manner of the first team, the passing was clean and the tempo was high. A lot to be happy with from this game.

Player Reviews:

Ross Turnbull: Basically a spectator for the whole game never really troubled, he would have been grateful for the minutes on the pitch though i am sure.

Billy Clifford: A decent game again from Billy. Made some very nice runs overlapping the winger particularly in the first half where he was linking up well with Gokhan Tore. He made one excellent run into the box in the second half where he beat a couple of players and his shot deflected off a defender and into the path of Borini for his second goal. Billy is good little right back and i hope he continues to develop in the way he currently is.

Patrick Van Aanholt: Patrick is and has always been actually a very consistent left back. You always get a good performance from him. His forward runs are always good to see as he has great control of the ball and we saw many of those trademark runs in this game. He had a couple of decent shots on target too which is always good to see because he does have a decent shot on him. Another very strong outing from him

Jeffrey Bruma: Just about as solid a performance that you could get. He wasn’t troubled at all by the Bayern defence and everything he did was calm and collected. When he gets nervous that is when things tend to go wrong for him, Jeffrey is a confident young man and he was very composed yesterday.

Nathaniel Chalobah: Playing at centre back today having previously played in the holding role in reserves games. I am not sure yet where the club see his long term future, as a centre back or as a holding player. But he looked good at centre back, a couple of times outmuscled which isn’t much of a surprise given his age. But he linked with Jeffrey well and didn’t put a foot wrong so another good reserve outing for the young man.

Josh McEachran: Played in the holding role in this game which is something i was a little disappointed to see because we have seen Josh played there when he has come on for the first team and i truly hope the club do not have the intention of moving him there for the long term because it would be a massive waste of talent. Having said that Josh was top class again, he manages to wriggle out of impossible situations with the ball and never gives it away, he always seems to play the right pass that will set a move off. So good performance from Josh but want to see him used further up the pitch.

Jacob Mellis: Jacob is stuck in something of rut now, he shouldn’t be playing reserve team football anymore and should be out on loan but he can’t seem to find the right move. And also he is not hitting the same standards we used to see from him. The Jacob Mellis that played in the youth cup run 3 seasons ago was very dynamic and drew comparisons to Frank Lampard, that seems to have just gone now. He was decent in this game without doing anything wrong but he can perform to a higher standard.

Jacapo Sala: Another player who is not clear where his best position is, out wide or down the middle. He can certainly play both roles very effectively and in this game he was down the middle. He is a very hard worker and has a good eye for a pass. Again he had a good game and showed what he is all about. I like Sala even though there is nothing spectacular about him.

Gokhan Tore: Had a good outing against Liverpool when he had to come off injured and Gokhan again came off at half time in this one. It was actually one of his better games this time, you never know what Gokhan you will get, the one who can’t beat anyone and gives the ball away or the one who can devastate defences. This time we got a solid Gokhan who did all the right things, it was good to see.

Gael Kakuta: Again Gael i think would have been a little disappointed with his overall performance. A player with his ability should be dominating reserves games. He did play quite well though and he was certainly at his best by the end when his skills were very much on display. Hopefully we can see some steady improvement from him

Daniel Sturridge: Sturridge always gives his best when he drops down to reserve level and that is very pleasing to see because it doesn’t always happen that way. He bagged himself another couple of goals and was generally very good, playing down the middle certainly seems to be where he is best used, his runs behind the defence are very good and he is a good finisher. Hopefully would have given Carlo some food for thought.

Fabio Borini: Whilst in the middle of massive speculation about his future Borini once again showed why he should be kept around. He is a pure goalscorer and he works so hard. He has scored 9 goals now in a very small number of reserve games and 2 this time in just half a game. Hope he does stay because he is a cracking striker.

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It makes you think, was this friendly set up by Bayern to scout Borini in person?

I hope we sort all of this contract stuff out sooner rather then later. I will be pissed of by the club if they let go BOTH Gael and Borini. Gourclay has already let one contract of a fan loved person go, whose to say he is heartless enough to let others go?

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It makes you think, was this friendly set up by Bayern to scout Borini in person?

I hope we sort all of this contract stuff out sooner rather then later. I will be pissed of by the club if they let go BOTH Gael and Borini. Gourclay has already let one contract of a fan loved person go, whose to say he is heartless enough to let others go?

The trouble is that contract negotiations work both ways, it can be very hard to come to an agreement. If players were just always given what they wanted football would be in a very sorry state.

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