Chelsea’s development squad dispatched Manchester United at Kingsmeadow on Friday afternoon to top the PL2 table over Christmas and into the New Year!
Goals of the highest quality were the undoing of United, and they came right from the first whistle. Marcel Lewis was quickest to find the net after two mintues and then Jude Soonsup-Bell followed suit for his maiden goal at this level. Chelsea were two goals up after just three minutes of action!
We were then made to wait until the 34th minute for our next goal and it was Tino Anjorin who got what he deserved after a quality first-half display.
The second half provided more of the same and Anjorin struck again, this time from the spot after Tino Livramento was tripped in the box. Goals five and six were within four minutes of each other. The first, scored by Lewis, sealed a brace for the 19-year-old. Then, Charlie Brown was introduced and joined in on the act moments later.
United found a consolation five minutes from time but the damage was ultimately done by the first-half Chelsea blitz.
Andy Myers named a changed side for the visit of Manchester United this afternoon. The first was between the sticks where Lucas Bergstrom stood guard in place of Petr Cech, and just ahead of him, Sam McClelland occupied the central defensive spot. Baba Rahman provided width on the left while the versatility of Henry Lawrence yet again proved useful as he slotted into centre midfield.
Tino Anjorin was back with the squad after making his full Chelsea debut last week, replacing Myles Peart-Harris who had reached the yellow card limit and Jude Soonsup-Bell wore the number nine shirt as he led the attack from the start for the first time at this level.
Two goals, three minutes!
United got us underway at a damp Kingsmeadow and it was those conditions which provided Chelsea with the first chance and goal. A searching ball forward by Livramento sent Anjorin away alongside Tedn Mengi, who lost his footing, allowing our number 10 to advance into the box and square for Lewis to apply the finishing touches via a deflection.
It was Lewis’ first PL2 goal of the season and one which set the benchmark for the rest of the opening half as the lead was doubled immediately after the restart.
There was barely any time for United to catch their breath before we found the second goal in a minute. Again the move started on our right, Anjorin and Soonsup-Bell combined to win the ball back and the latter charged towards the box, and a step-over earned a yard of space allowing him to curl the ball into the far corner for his debut development squad goal.
The goal for the 16-year-old was his 16th in 11 Academy appearances this season - Jeremie Boga scored as a 15-year-old at this level, so he wasn't the youngest, but Soonsup-Bell was certainly impressing in his debut performance.
After a rapid Chelsea start, the game settled and although still comfortable in possession, Man United were able to cope with the speed of our attacks. They even had the ball in the back of the net after some slick passing play, but the official’s flag came to the rescue of the Chelsea backline.
A short corner-kick was worked to central defender Dynel Simeu at the back post who picked out his partner, Levi Colwill, in the centre. The ball bounced up and was headed towards goal by Colwill but United made it back in time to clear up the danger.
Anjorin joins in
Anjorin, who had been excellent throughout the first half, finally got his goal on 34 minutes. Lewis started the move, winning the ball back and finding Anjorin just ahead of him. The 19-year-old moved possession wide to Livramento who put in a signature cross, back to Anjorin who found the net at the second time of asking.
The third goal gave Chelsea a very healthy lead at the break, one which was well deserved after a faultless first-half showing.
From the restart it took Chelsea just five minutes to pick back up where we left off. Lewis Bate sprayed an inch-perfect ball out to the right for Livramento to latch on to. That he did inside the box where he was caught by Alvaro Fernandez who conceded a penalty after much deliberation from the referee.
Anjorin stepped up and made no mistake, sending Paul Woolston the wrong way for his second goal of the afternoon, seemingly ensuring the points for Myers’ men.
Brace for Lewis
Brown replaced scorer Soonsup-Bell and was involved in play immediately. After receiving the ball from Baba Rahman’s throw, Brown’s centre was picked up by Lewis who turned and fired low past Woolston for his brace. The goal was Lewis' last contribution as Thierno Ballo later replaced the attacking midfielder following a good afternoon's work.
Brown makes his mark
Brown turned scorer with his next couple of touches. Pierre Ekwah-Elimby won possession back in midfield and the ball was picked up by Anjorin who moved the ball forward to Brown. The striker cut on to his favoured left foot and hit our sixth of the afternoon! A first goal for Brown since his return to the club from his loan spell in Belgium.
Joe Hugill who came on after 65 minutes scored a consolation for Man United five minutes from time. His finish from close range found the roof of the net, leaving no chance for Bergstrom to make a save.
With that goal, Chelsea were sure to keep their advantage at just five and defended well for the remaining minutes to seal all three points at Kingsmeadow.
Chelsea (3-4-2-1) Lucas Bergstrom; Dynel Simeu, Sam McClelland, Levi Colwill; Tino Livramento, Henry Lawrence, Lewis Bate, Baba Rahman (Pierre Elimby-Ekwah70); Tino Anjorin, Marcel Lewis (Thierno Ballo 78); Jude Soonsup-Bell (Charlie Brown 67)
Unused subs Sami Tlemcani, George Nunn.
Booked Ekwah-Elimby 78, Simeu 86
Scorers Lewis 2, 68; Soonsup-Bell 3; Anjorin 34, 51; Brown 71
Man United Paul Woolston, Ethan Laird, Alvaro Fernandez, Will Fish, Teden Mengi (c), Ethan Galbraith (Mark Helm (68), Arnau Puigmal, Shola Shoretire, Antony Elanga, Hannibal Mejbri, Facundo Pellistri (Joe Hugill 65)
Unused subs Reece Devine, Ondreji Mastny, Charlie McCamm
Booked Fish 30, Puigmal 86, Shoretire 88
Referee Robert Massey-Ellis
In other Academy news, tomorrow’s Under-18 Premier League London derby against Arsenal has been postponed and a new date will be communicated in due course.