It may well be an international weekend, but both Chelsea’s Under-21 and Under-18 teams were in action over the weekend as the club attempts to keep them playing a minimum of one game per week.
The Under-21 squad hosted Charlton on Friday afternoon in a match which featured a few more experienced faces in need of match fitness. To that end, Ross Turnbull and Paulo Ferreira started the match, as did new signing Cesar Azpilicueta, who played the full 90 minutes at right back.
The visitors came away with a 3-2 victory, having gone ahead in the first half through Danny Green and extended their lead when Ricardo Fuller scored at the second time of asking, after Turnbull had saved his penalty.
A spot kick of his own making by Adam Coombes reduced arrears and it was Coombes’ effort moments later which was parried into the path of Billy Clifford to allow Chelsea to get back on terms. However, a late winner from Michael Smith saw Andy Myers’ team go down by the odd goal in five.
On Saturday morning the youth team – which was really an Under-17 squad including a host of schoolboys – hosted Southampton in what promised to be a tough fixture but ended up looking nothing like it as the Blues strolled to an astounding 8-3 success.
Jeremie Boga stole the show once again with a first half hat-trick, whilst there were also goals for Fankaty Dabo, Jordan Houghton, Charly Musonda, Isak Ssewankambo, and Bertrand Traore. Reece Mitchell even found time to miss a penalty in a ridiculous affair.
It was Musonda’s second goal in a week, after he and Walter Figueira bagged in a similar encounter against Brighton on Tuesday. That match finished 2-0, and across both matches there was playing time for Under-16s and Under-15s alike including England youth internationals Charlie Colkett and Ola Aina, and new signing George Brady in defence.
Both teams are back in competitive action next weekend as Liverpool make the journey down south. The Under-21s host their red counterparts at Brentford’s Griffin Park on Friday night, and the Under-18s do so at Cobham the following morning.