YOUTH REPORT: NORWICH CITY 1 CHELSEA 1
The Under-18s shared the points with last season's FA Youth Cup final foes at the Canaries' Norfolk training ground.
An early George Cole (pictured) opener was cancelled out by Harvey Hodd in the first half, and neither side could find a winner after the break.
Adi Viveash made two changes from the side that defeated West Ham at Cobham last time out. Ola Aina and Fankaty Dabo returned in defence alongside skipper Jon Muleba and left back Jay Dasilva, with Brad Collins between the sticks.
Charly Musonda continued in midfield with Kasey Palmer and Mukhtar Ali, while George Cole and Tammy Abraham supported striker Chike Kandi from the flanks.
The hosts' starting 11 featured five starters from last season's Youth Cup final game at Stamford Bridge, including Cameron King, Henry Randall and Cameron Norman, while the visitors only started with two in Musonda and Aina.
It was a competitive start as the sun shone in Norfolk and both sides looked to put an early stamp on proceedings. The young Canaries' captain Norman headed over from right under the bar after the first corner of the game less than five minutes in, before a host of crunching tackles from both sides forced the referee into early action.
The man with the whistle continued to be kept busy throughout the opening 10 minutes and awarded the Blues a free-kick in a dangerous area as Palmer was felled after showing some neat control around the edge of the Norwich area. Cole, who netted in Saturday's win over West Ham, stepped up and fired a dipping effort low into the corner of the net that Liam Priestley, the Norwich goalkeeper, couldn't stop despite getting a hand to.
It was an early advantage that Viveash will have been looking for, however Norwich responded well and the Blues had to be on full alert to defend another inswinging corner as the Youth Cup holders looked to quickly regain parity.
The next chance, though, fell Chelsea's way as Muleba burst forward out of defence and slid an excellent ball to set Kandi clear. The striker's run was well timed, however his finish was tame and comfortable for Priestley.
Palmer then had a couple of efforts on goal well blocked, the first after an impressive attacking move on the left as Cole fed Da Silva with a cheeky back-heel and the full-back's deep delivery looked for Abraham at the back post. Norwich struggled to clear the danger and the lurking Palmer looked to test Priestley, but was denied by some good defensive work.
It was amid this bright spell for the visitors that Norwich grabbed their equaliser. Randall found Hodd in behind Dabo with a sweeping ball across the field and the wideman held off the right-back's challenge to tuck the ball past Collins at the near post.
Musonda stung Priestley's palms with a good left-footed shot after Dabo had burst forward from the back, however it was honours even at the interval.
The hosts made a double change at the break, however it was Chelsea who started the brighter side as they looked to regain their advantage. Cole's inswinging delivery from the left just evaded the advancing Palmer before Abraham challenged Priestley in the air with a high ball that the schoolboy won but just nodded wide.
Da Silva then surged forward from left-back to cause problems for the Canaries' defenders. A couple of fortuitous deflections found the defender troubling Norwich inside their 18-yard box as he nodded the loose ball against Priestley's post. It ricocheted away from danger.
The visitors had a couple of decent penalty shouts waved away as the second half wore on, however it was their attacking down the left flank that was bringing most joy as they searched for a winner. Cole skipped past Efete with ease before seeing a right-footed effort blocked and a left-footed chance fly over as he hit it off balance.
Musonda and Palmer then combined with an excellent interchange on the edge of the box that fashioned a bright opening for Kandi, though the striker could only fire wide despite being positioned well.
Kyle Scott and Fikayo Tomori entered the fray not long after the hour mark as Viveash introduced fresher legs, however it was Norwich in the ascendancy as the final whistle loomed. Substitute Heath fired a decent chance straight into Collins' midriff after a period of sustained controlled possession for the hosts.
Cole once again threatened as his right-footed effort dipped right in front of Priestley, however the goalkeeper did well to push the ball away before Abraham's deflected shot hit the base of the post and went behind for a corner.
The young Blues remain unbeaten with two wins and a draw from their opening three league games. They next face Everton away on Saturday morning.
Chelsea Bradley Collins; Fankaty Dabo (Nais Butungu 86), Jon Muleba (c), Ola Aina (Fikayo Tomori 65), Jay Dasilva; Mukhtar Ali, Kasey Palmer, Charley Musonda; George Cole, Tammy Abraham, Chike Kandi (Kyle Scott 65).
Unused subs Joe Tupper, Jake Clarke-Salter.
Norwich Liam Priestley; Michee Efete, Christian Scales (Ray Grant h/t), Henry Randall, Ben Burgess, Ben Wyatt, Cameron Norris ©, Jamie Eaton-Collins (Oliver Cole 86), Jake Simpson, Cameron King (Harrison Heath h/t) Harvey Hodd.
Unused subs Aston Oxborough, Nathan Fox.