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Chelsea's Under 18s prepared for their Stamford Bridge FA Youth Cup date on Thursday by fighting back after going behind in this league game, but ultimately letting two points slip late on. There was a European flavour to the young Blues' scoring at the weekend with Italian striker Fabio Borini and French midfielder Gaël Kakuta both finding the net for the fifth time at this level this season.

Borini's strike came on 38 minutes but before then, there had been chances at both ends with Palace taking the lead on the half-hour.

A very good opportunity came the way of Adam Phillip, one of Chelsea's front three, after 10 minutes. Play was switched to the far post but he put it over the bar.

Shortly after, Palace fluffed a chance of their own after breaking from a corner - a real scare - but Chelsea continued to crate chances. A Jacob Mellis (pictured) attempt was saved on 20 minutes and then Rhys Taylor in the Chelsea goal made an excellent reaction save down to his left just a minute later.

Palace went ahead after some poor defending. Two mistimed tackles allowed the ball to be carried a long way down the right before a free shot at goal.

Fortunately, the Blues responded well. A Mellis corner on 38 minutes was missed at the near post. It ran through to Borini who popped it in from close range.


Kakuta established a 2-1 lead after the break when he picked the ball up 25 yards out and hit a long range shot, the Palace keeper making a bit of a mess of it.

Chelsea looked comfortable and really should have finished the game off, Phillip wasting a couple of opportunities in the final 20 minutes. On 82 minutes, a misplaced pass at a free-kick by Tom Taiwo was played straight between Chelsea's centre-backs by Palace who ran clean through to score.

Coach Paul Clement reports:

'It was difficult conditions to play good football but we tried. The pitch made it hard to get the ball down and pass and the wind was blowing.

'It seemed that every time we got our chance, Palace attacked and had a chance at the other end, so we weren't defending the counter attack very well.

'We were really disappointed not to have secured the victory but now it is full stream ahead for the FA Youth Cup game against Leicester. The boys had the day off on Sunday and now have three training sessions leading up to Thursday.'

Chelsea: Rhys Taylor; Nikki Ahamed, Jeffrey Bruma, Jack Saville, Jordan Tabor;

Tom Taiwo ©, Daniel Philliskirk, (Lee Sawyer), Gaël Kakuta; Jacob Mellis, Fabio Borini (Frank Nouble), Adam Phillip.

Come along to Stamford Bridge on Thursday and watch the players hoping to become Chelsea stars of the future. Admission is free.

Kick-off is 7pm and support will be welcomed as they aim to put the club into the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals.

Source: Chelsea FC

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