RESERVE REPORT: CHELSEA 1 MANCHESTER UNITED 4
Early defensive errors cost Chelsea's second string in the final league game of the season.
In a match held at Cobham against the champions of the northern section of the reserve league, it took until the dying stages for Chelsea to find a rhythm but Manchester United continued to dominate until the final whistle. However, Patrick Bamford did manage to score for the fourth consecutive reserve team game. Lucas Piazon had earlier seen an attempt cleared off the line.
There were four changes from the side which drew 2-2 with Wigan in the reserves' last outing. Todd Kane returned to right-back following his participation in the FA Youth Cup, as did Nathan Ake and Nathaniel Chalobah.
Chalobah captained the side, which included Romelu Lukaku in the centre of an attacking three with Adam Phillip on the left and Bamford on the right. James Russell began between the posts while Rohan Ince and Aziz Deen-Conteh joined Kane and Ake in defence.
Wet conditions forced a slow tempo for the start of the clash but Chelsea were the first to threaten goal when, after five minutes, Lukaku fed off an Adam Phillip deflection to snatch a shot over the bar from a tight angle.
Phillip was next to have a chance when he jumped to nod a Kane cross goal-ward, but the ball fell a little too far behind for Phillip to achieve enough purchase on his effort.Instead the opening goal came when poor defending allowed Ryan Tunnicliffe to poke home a Jesse Lingard pull-back after 10 minutes of football.
In retaliation, Phillip tried his luck from 25 yards but shot wide before Lukaku used his strength to create space on the edge of the box but his shot once again rose high, flying inches over the bar.
Deen-Conteh kept Chelsea in the game as the 30-minute mark approached, clearing a Will Keane header off the line following a United corner. The opportunity initiated a spell of dominance from the visitors, who continued to test the Blues defence. Larnell Cole was twice caught offside before he eventually beat the flag for United's second, feeding off a Lingard ball to calmly slot past Russell.
The hosts forced their first save after 40 minutes when a well-struck Phillip shot from 25 yards out forced an acrobatic save from Sam Johnstone but defensive errors gifted United their third goal on the stroke of half time. Keane intercepted a Kane header before beating Russell.
Drummy introduced Lucas Piazon, replacing Phillip on the left side but it only took five minutes from the restart for United to find the net once more. Richie De Laet picked up the ball and ran down the middle without being challenged. After breaking into the box, he calmly found the net for the easiest goal of the game.
Soon after Russell made a fine save to prevent Davide Petrucci from making it five, tipping a curling effort over the bar for a corner before Chelsea broke on the counter and a Piazon effort was cleared off the line by Tom Thorpe.
Two Chelsea substitutions saw both Cliffords replaced by John Swift and Lewis Baker and with the introduction of fresh legs, the Blues began to push forward.
Swift forced a good save from Johnstone as the home side played more positively for the final 25 minutes. However it was Man United nearly found the net once more when Keane headed a Petrucci cross onto the bar.
At the other end Kane troubled the visitors' defence before curling a left-footed effort into Johnstone's arms from the edge of the box. It was a comfortable save from the right-back's first shot on target.
Chelsea finally found the net after 86 minutes when Bamford hooked a left-footed effort into the bottom corner from 18 yards. Although beaten on that occasion, the United keeper would go on to make two good saves to deny Swift and Lukaku.
'We were well beaten, Man United were the better side in all departments,' said Drummy after the game. 'We weren't performing, we were giving the ball away and we were sloppy.
'Once we brought the substitutes into the game they moved the ball quicker, so we went forward a lot more but the game was done by then.
Chelsea (4-3-3): James Russell; Todd Kane, Rohan Ince, Nathan Ake, Aziz Deen-Conteh; Conor Clifford (John Swift 52), Billy Clifford (Lewis Baker 60), Nathaniel Chalobah (c); Patrick Bamford, Romelu Lukaku, Adam Phillip (Lucas Piazon h-t).
Unused subs Mitchell Beeney, Adam Nditi.
Manchester United (4-4-1-1): Sam Johnstone; Marnick Vermijl, Richie De Laet, Zeki Fryers, Michael Keane; Tom Thorpe, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Larnell Cole, Jesse Lingard (Luke Giverin 63); Davide Petrucci (c); William Keane.
Unused subs Joe Coll, Tyler Blackett, Michele Fornasier, Gyliano van Velzen.