Chelsea Youth 3 Arsenal Youth 1
Sunday, Nov 20, 2005
Employing a slightly different shape, Chelsea Youth set the weekend going well on Saturday morning with a convincing 3-1 win over Arsenal.
For the first time this season coach Brendan Rodgers used two holding midfielders in front of the back four, allowing just Ricardo Fernandes the freedom to go forward at any opportunity.
It worked. Chelsea led 2-0 by the interval.
Brendan describes the opening goal: “We won the ball high up the pitch, a terrific interception and pass from Dean Furman played in Jack Watkins who slotted in an excellent finish.” It was Jack’s third goal in five games, and that total is already one more than he scored in all of last season.
Brendan was equally delighted with the second goal. “There was a great sequence of passes to get Dean Furman in on the edge of the box and he supplied another cool finish.” Dean managed just one goal last season and now has two this term.
Chelsea dominated the first-half. “Scott Sinclair went close twice, forcing two good saves from their keeper in one on ones.”
Sloppy defending allowed Arsenal to get a goal back in the second-half, but Brendan remained confident. “Arsenal came into it a little bit more but I still felt we controlled the game. We went close on a number of occasions and then got the third goal from a penalty.”
It was won by Fabio Ferreira, a 16 year old signed in the summer from Sporting Lisbon who has spent most of the season injured. He played in the training ground friendly against Wycombe last week and came on here to find himself pushed in the penalty area.
Sinclair took it, despite having his penalty saved at West Ham last week. “Scott stuck it away confidently,” says Brendan. “That was good because he and Jack Watkins did extra work on penalties for about 20 minutes on Friday.” Watkins had also missed a penalty this season, at Southampton.
Arsenal started the day one point behind Chelsea, so this was a significant win. Brendan concludes: “I was delighted with the performance on the back of last week’s game at West Ham. And after a number of weeks when our group has been split up through illness and international duty, we’ve all been back together and it showed.”
Team (4-2-1-3) Hamann; Hutchinson, Worley, Cork (c), Hurrell; Bridcutt, Furman; Fernandes (Bertrand); Cummings (Ferreira), Watkins, Sinclair.
CHELSEA YOUTH ON RECORD
Wolves (a) W 2-1; Man City (h) L 0-2; Coventry (a) D 1-1; Leicester (h) W 4-2; MK Dons (a) D 0-0; Charlton (a) W 2-0; Norwich (h) W 1-0; Southampton (a) L 0-3; Ipswich (h) W 4-1; Fulham (a) D 1-1; Millwall (h) D 0-0; West Ham (a) L 1-2; Arsenal (h) W 3-1.
Sinclair 13, Furman 12, Hutchinson 12, Bertrand 10+1, Worley 10+1, Cork 10, Watkins 9+4, Cummings 9+2, Bridcutt 8+4, Fernandes 8+1, Simmonds 7+2, Mancienne 6, Hamann 6, Russell 5, Grant 4, J Younghusband 4, Ofori 2+1, Taylor 2, Saarelma 1+6, Sawyer 1+1, Elmer 1, Hurrell 1, J Smith 1, Tillen 1, F Ferreira 0+2, Ogbuagu 0+1, Saville 0+1.
Sinclair 8, Watkins 3, Cummings 2, Furman 2, Bridcutt 1, Grant 1, Worley 1, og 1
Penalties scored 1
Penalties missed 2
Sinclair 1, Watkins 1.
Penalties won 3
F Ferreira 1, Hutchinson 1, Ofori 1.
Penalties conceded 3
Hutchinson 2, Saville 1.
Penalties saved 1
Furman 1, Saarelma 1, Sawyer 1, Simmonds 1, Sinclair 1, J Smith 1, Watkins 1.
Furman 2, Sawyer 1, Taylor 1, Worley 1, J Younghusband 1.
Chelsea Reserves 1 Portsmouth Reserves 0
A single Danny Hollands goal was enough to earn a second consecutive home win for Chelsea Reserves as in contrast to the previous week away at Leicester, fortune favoured the Blues in the closing minutes.
It was a deserved three points for Mick McGiven’s team on a crisp but perfectly playable pitch. A few scrambles in the penalty box apart, Portsmouth rarely looked capable of mounting a challenge on the Chelsea net, especially after the home side had taken the lead.
That was until the closing minute of normal time when Senegalese international Salif Diao produced a stinging free-kick, only to see it strike woodwork via a deflection.
Diao was one of four full internationals in what looked on paper a strong Portsmouth team. Former Liverpool keeper Sander Westerveld was also on display, as were Senegalese players Aliou Cisse and Salif Diao plus Norwegian Azar Karadas, on loan from Benfica. Experienced defender Linvoy Primus was also fielded.
Chelsea welcomed back England Under 19 and Under 18 internationals Anthony Grant and Michael Mancienne but were still without a recognised striker. Seventeen year-old midfielder James Simmonds stood in.
Wide-man Filipe Morais forced the Portsmouth keeper to block at the near post with the first shot on target of the game. The visitors had a sniff at goal in the early stages when the Chelsea defence carelessly allowed a free-kick easy access to the penalty area. Karadas came close to capitalising on the loose ball.
On another couple of occasions in the first-half, Portsmouth failed to make the most of some hesitant play at the back by their opponents but Chelsea were the more composed passing side.
An elaborate move involving Keenan, Tillen, Simmonds and Hollands almost resulted in a shooting chance for Morais but the Chelsea winger took a strong touch and the chance was gone.
Five minutes before the break came the game’s only goal. A flying Morais was fouled out wide, the free-kick was challenged for unsuccessfully in the air by Mancienne but when it was half-cleared to the edge of the area, Hollands was there to drill it home low (pictured). The captain had scored the opener for the second consecutive game.
Pidgeley in the Chelsea goal had to be sharp to preserve the lead just before the break when Grant swung a leg but connected with air rather than a Portsmouth free-kick.
Chelsea saw a shot from close range saved after the referee had over-ruled an offside flag but when Pettigrew had the ball in the net soon after, he was ruled offside.
All the chances were Chelsea’s. Simmonds steadied himself but shot wide after Hollands had collected a Pompey gift in the centre of the park and advanced.
Then on the stroke of 90 minutes, Portsmouth were presented with a free-kick too far out to immediately ring alarm bells. Last week at Leicester, a controversially awarded corner at a similar moment was converted to deny a deserved win.
On this occasion the set-piece was arrowed in powerfully by Diao, clipping someone on its way before flying beyond Pidgeley’s reach. Fortunately it smacked the crossbar and was safely cleared.
Lenny Pidgeley; Dean Smith, Adrian Pettigrew, Michael Mancienne, Jonas Elmer; Danny Hollands (capt), Joe Keenan, Anthony Grant; Filipe Morais, James Simmonds (Jack Watkins 90+2), Joe Tillen (Scott Sinclair 89).
Sander Westerveld, Aliou Cisse (Matthew Day 29), Harry Donaghey, Salif Diao, Linvoy Primus, Gary Silk, Franck Songo'o, Giannis Skolelitis, Azar Karadas (Kyle Swayne 75), Collins Mbesuma (Jack Compton 8😎, Daryl Fordyce.
Chelsea are hoping to farm out Emanuel Sakri to Jupiler League side Westerlo.
The Blues are keen that the 18-year-old should get some first-team experience under his belt and have asked Jan Ceulemans (pictured) and his staff to run the rule over him.
The Nigerian will turn out for the Westerlo reserve side on Friday night before club officials decide on whether or not they will make the arrangement more long-term.
Sakri is considered one of the brightest prospects to have emerged from West Africa in recent years and could well benefit from an extended stay with Chelsea's feeder club.
Tottenham Reserves 2 Chelsea Reserves 0
Chelsea were beaten by a strong Tottenham side tonight, Wednesday, who should have scored more. Steven Watt was sent off with five minutes to go.
Chelsea had a substitutes’ bench full of people who travelled or played in the FA Youth Cup on Monday, goalkeeper Ma Kalambay apart. There was a second minute escape when Tottenham hit the bar with a Rasiak header from close range.
The fresh reserve team settled down to some comfortable football with Morais getting good possession on a couple of occasions.
There was hope when Tottenham goalkeeper Burch completely missed Tillen’s corner, but it didn’t last long. Rasiak fired a 25 yarder in the 15th minute into Pidgeley’s right-hand corner, an outstanding strike, to give Tottenham the lead and suddenly they seemed very penetrating.
Tottenham’s experience served them well. Pamarot was physically and technically superior at the back when Chelsea attacked, and Lennon used his pace well, drawing a booking out of Grant on the half hour for a late challenge. Only Brown and Davis in midfield were erratic with their passing, but they were physically dominant.
Chelsea worked hard but created little. By half-time Burch has not been tested,
Mancienne replaced Grant four minutes into the second-half because the holding midfielder was beginning to walk a tightrope with his challenges. But Tottenham, who had made a double substitution at the interval, looked the physically stronger side, and when Hallfredson drove a 25 yarder for the top corner three minutes later, it took an agile Pidgeley tip-over to keep the score at 1-0.
Jimmy Smith was making his first start since dislocating his collarbone, and once he tired he was replaced by Sinclair 20 minutes into the second-half. Keenan moved from the left flank to go into Smith’s position, Younghusband moved to the left and Sinclair went to centre-forward.
But it was Pidgeley who was immediately called into action, swooping low to his left to hold Hallfredson’s deflected 20 yarder.
At last, in the 70th minute, Chelsea fashioned a real chance. Younghusband on the left turned and crossed with his right foot, and Hollands found space for a free header, but directed it just the wrong side of the post before holding his head in anguish.
Quickly, Tottenham extended their lead. Pettigrew got away with a foul because Tottenham kept possession, but fouled again, then said something and was booked. From the free-kick imposing Rasiak headed the second.
Pidgeley had to be alert to hold another deflected shot, this time from Daniels, and the team had to be careful not to lose defensive shape. When Hallfredson was given the space to deliver another unchallenged cross, Watt had to be sharp to stop Rasiak getting his hat-trick.
With five minutes left substitute Simmonds was felled when running for goal. Chelsea had two men free and possession, but still the referee whistled up. Furious Watt and Hollands remonstrated and referee booked the Tottenham player. But as he did Tillen took a quick free-kick. The referee also booked him.
When he retook the free-kick it went for a corner, and while Chelsea were waiting for it to be taken the referee saw Watt make a gesture to the crowd and sent him off.
However, the ten men had one of their best efforts when Sinclair volleyed just wide after Younghusband had flicked on Tillen’s pass.
Team Pidgeley; D Smith, Pettigrew, Watt, Tillen; J Smith Sinclair 65), Grant (Mancienne 49), Hollands (c); F Morais (Simmonds 83), P Younghusband, Keenan.
Tottenham Burch; McKenna, Pamarot, Lee (c), Daniels; Lennon (Barcham h-t), Davis, Brown (O’Hara h-t), Hallfredson; Rasiak, Barnard.
Norwich City Youth 1 Chelsea Youth 2
Chelsea played by far the superior football but had to wait until a slightly fortuitous penalty in extra-time to win this third round FA Youth Cup tie.
Mancienne (pictured) nearly gave Chelsea the lead three minutes into the game when a low left-sided corner wasn’t dealt with and he unleashed a savage left-footed shot which beat the goalkeeper and was headed off the line.
But it was Mancienne who, in trying to close down a 20 yard shot after 11 minutes, saw the ball deflect past his won goalkeeper Hamann to give the home side the lead. There was too much space allowed as the ball was moved across the face of the area and once the shot was fired an element of bad luck was involved.
Seven minutes later the other central defender, Worley, carried the ball forward from defence and from fully 25 yards fired an extraordinary drive into the far top corner for one of the goals of the season at any level. What a start!
Chelsea kept three players forward at opposition corners like the first team did at the start of last season, but in open play used two holding midfielders in front of the back four with just Simmonds having a free role in front of them.
Mancienne and Simmonds had stepped down from their recent spells in the reserves for the Youth Cup which is an important competition.
Chelsea enjoyed the majority of possession and frustrated Norwich for long periods, but nearly suffered the price of losing the ball in midfield when Cork was hustled, and a direct attack through the middle was only foiled by good covering across his area by Hutchinson.
Worley, who had made some good diagonal passes, struck another outstanding ball over the central defence that a pacier or more alert Watkins might have fastened on to.
Chelsea nearly scored a magnificent goal when Bertrand, the back boy at a corner, chested down from a Norwich counter with three players breaking, swept a pass out to Sinclair on the left, launched himself on a run beyond the winger and on receiving a well weighted return knocked in a superb cross which Watkins sliced just past the far post with a touch-header.
Good pressing by Chelsea led to another chance as Sinclair knocked a loose ball across the area where Furman, arriving from midfield at full pelt, missed his kick.
Elmer came off the bench ten minutes into the second-half on to the left flank with Watkins going off and Sinclair switching to centre-forward.
Chelsea dominated the second-half but created no chances. Things didn’t improve when Ferreira replaced Cummings on the right, and then coach Brendan Rodgers was forced into a third substitution in the last ten minutes of normal time after Worley appeared to suffer a knee injury. Midfielder Bridcutt came on and Cork reverted to his weekly position at the back.
With five minutes left the best chance of the second-half fell to Furman who found space running on to a Hutchinson cross but misplaced his header.
Sinclair’s effort after that wasn’t such a good chance, but he stepped inside a defender and shot on the turn, the six feet five inches goalkeeper unconvincingly turning the ball over the bar. It was the first real flash of inspiration from the front man.
Early in extra-time Mancienne produced a perfectly timed tackle in the Chelsea area, but soon after Cork lost the ball and left the defence vulnerable and Hutchinson’s ensuing foul and reaction to the Norwich player earned a yellow card.
Two minutes after that Ferreira’s cross struck a Norwich defender’s hand and the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. Furious Norwich players argued that the ball hit the hand and the hand was out of the area. Sinclair took no notice, waited for the yellow card to be brandished and smacked the penalty past the keeper for Chelsea to take the lead for the first time.
Bertrand picked up Chelsea’s second booking when he stamped on a Norwich player after being fouled. Norwich pushed forward, but Hutchinson and Mancienne were equal to everything being thrown high into the box and Bertrand controlled the left flank.
Goalkeeper Hamann had had little to do, but six minutes from time produced a wonderful save to divert a shot on the turn that was rocketing to his left. He showed good hands after that to hold another effort and make his contribution.
In the end, everyone made a contribution to a typically tidy if, also typically, not always penetrating performance. A crowd of 1,316 watched.
Team Hamann; Hutchinson, Worley (Bridcutt 83), Mancienne (c), Bertrand; Cork, Furman; Simmonds; Cummings (Ferreira 66), Watkins (Elmer 55), Sinclair.
Chelsea Reserves 0 Fulham Reserves 1
The year 2005 ended in disappointing fashion for Chelsea’s second string as a goal just before half-time consigned them to a home defeat against local rivals.
It was an utterly unmemorable and uneventful game at the Recreation Ground in Aldershot, the goal the one occasion either side truly threatened the net. On a chilly night, it was not the place to be an underworked goalkeeper!
Chelsea’s side, without its more senior regulars like Joe Keenan and the suspended Steven Watt was as youthful as it has possibly ever been. Filipe Morais and Danny Holland were the sole 20 years-old, and both those only by a month.
That showed. As the passes began to go astray, the play lacked composure.
The game was 15 minutes old when Jimmy Smith headed onto Hollands for the game’s first shot. The captain advanced into the area despite persistent tugging at his arm but his shot on the stretch went wide.
Jimmy Smith angled a drive across the face of goal for Chelsea’s one other attempt of the opening period.
It took until four minutes before the break for Fulham to at last find space behind the Chelsea defence. Yanka Casal beat Adrian Pettigrew to a tackle and dashed into the area but fortunately Anthony Grant was on hand with a well-timed tackle.
The Fulham number 11 was not to be denied however. Two minutes into injury time before the break he pounced when the Chelsea defence failed to clear a flighted free-kick, lofting the ball beyond Ma Kalambay and high into the net.
Filipe Morais wasted a chance to pull the scores level early in the second-half, air kicking when Tillen’s cross dropped his way, unmarked beyond the far post.
Morais then powered an off-target shot that can only be described as hopeful before Hollands became the game’s only booking for pushing down James after he had carelessly given away possession.
Fulham pressed for a second briefly as the game entered its final stages, Ma Kalambay punching away a free-kick by Wayne Brown, but the game continued in scrappy fashion.
The final minutes saw Chelsea push hard for an equaliser. There was plenty of effort but no-one could conjure up that spot of magic to breakdown the Fulham resistance.
When substitute Scott Sinclair found a yard of space, connected well from 25 yards out but fired over, Chelsea’s last chance had gone.
Yves Ma Kalambay (gk), Dean Smith (James Younghusband h-t), Michael Mancienne, Adrian Pettigrew, Jonas Elmer, Jimmy Smith, Anthony Grant, Danny Hollands (capt), Filipe Morais, James Simmonds (Phil Younghusband 77), Joe Tillen (Scott Sinclair 63).
Tony Warner; Andrew Otley (Aouled Miguil 57), Adam Green, Robert Watkins, TJ Moncur, Robert Milsom, Chris James (Lino Gonclaves 74), Wayne Brown, Ismael Ehui (Saheed Sankoh 8😎, Michael Timlin, Yinka Casal.
Fulham starlet Elliott Omozusi is being monitored by a clutch of Premiership clubs.
The 17-year-old defender is an England Under-18 international and is tipped as a real prospect.
He is currently on scholarship terms at Craven Cottage, but he is now old enough to sign professional terms.
Fulham are keen to secure his long-term future, but Omozusi's progress has not gone unnoticed.
Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and West Ham are all understood to have scouted Omozusi in recent months.
The Cottagers are likely to offer Omozusi professional terms before the end of the season with the hope of fending off the rival interest.