Academy: U19's maintain 100% record

This week the U18's kicked things off with a game at home to Aston Villa. A game which is typically very competitive as both sides b...

This week the U18's kicked things off with a game at home to Aston Villa. A game which is typically very competitive as both sides boast very good academies. And it was a game that would indeed be a close run thing. With regards to the team selection there was 7 changes from the strong team that was fielded last week against Arsenal, as always it was a young side with a back four of Ssewankambo, Muleba, Brady and DaSilva. In the midfield was Colkett, Musonda and Mitchell and the forward line for Cole, Gnahore and Solanke.

It was a good start by visitors that eventually saw them take the lead after keeper Collins made a bit of a blunder in not wanting to allow himself to carry the ball over the line he dropped it and it was a Villa player that would find himself nearest the ball to slot home. There was then a pivotal moment as Chelsea were working their way back into the game, Dom Solanke was fed the ball and worked well to get in behind the defence but was brought down by the outcoming keeper who would see himself sent off for the challenge. 

Chelsea were very much on top after this point and the goal came from a very tidy finish from Reece Mitchell back after suffering terribly through injury but as you can see in the highlights it was a very well taken goal. Chelsea continued to push but Villa defended solidly and worked hard to keep the game level even though Chelsea may feel they should have come away with the win.

Here are the highlights of the game:

Later in the week it was the turn of the U19's and they were out to see if they could maintain their 100% win record in the UEFA Youth League in their away game with Basel. Given that Chelsea had already qualified for the knock out stages of the competition there was opportunity for some more players to get an opportunity in this competition. There was a second start for Dion Conroy and a first start for Ola Aina but the rest of the team was virtually unchanged.

It was a good game and on the whole Chelsea had the better of the chances and they will feel that they were unlucky to not have gone into the break with a goal already. The goal did come in the end however once Lewis Baker tried a shot from range which took a deflection and past the keeper. With things going well for the Blues they took the opportunity to double their lead, John Swift in the middle of some incredible form ran with the ball and passed out wide to Alex Kiwomya but then continued his run into the box and received the ball back and jinked to make some space before slotting in the top corner.

Unfortunately Chelsea were not able to keep up the record of not conceding a goal in this competition when right at the end Nathan Ake brought down an attacker and conceded a penalty which Basel duly slotted away to finish the game with a 2 - 1 win for Chelsea. Highlights of the game are here:

There was a return back to loan action for many players so there is a more comprehensive loan report to go over this week. In the premier league this week our 2 only loan players faced each other in the Merseyside derby as Everton hosted Liverpool. Romelu Lukaku was to start the game but as has been the case recently for Victor Moses he was to start on the bench only coming on for the last 22 minutes. In the end the game finished 3-3 and it was a good game for Lukaku who managed to bag himself 2 goals in an impressive performance in which he should have scored lots more. Both players have been in the press recently, Moses because he feels he needs more game time and more controversially there has been supposed talk of Lukaku being open to staying at Everton and Jose saying that Lukaku talks to much to the press.

In the Championship there was another good game for Todd Kane at Blackburn Rovers who managed a 0 - 0 home draw to Reading. Elsewhere Nathaniel Chalobah started on the bench again for Nottingham Forest but was able to come on at half and have a good performance in Nottingham Forest's 1 - 1 home draw with Burnley, things still not ideal for Chalobah at Forest and it doesn't look like improving anytime soon and it would not be a suprise to see Chalobah elsewhere soon. Finally in the Championship and Josh McEachran played the full 90 minutes in Watford's 1 - 0 home defeat to Bolton.

League one saw 2 games this week for George Saville and Brentford firstly away to Wolves in which Saville started and played for 80 minutes in the 0 - 0 draw there but in the midweek game it was a home game against Peterborough and Saville not only started and played for 85 minutes but he also once again managed to get himself another goal which is his third now in this loan spell. Sam Walker continues to play in every game for Colchester and this week his games were against Preston away from home which finished 1 - 1 and in the second game he came up against a fellow Chelsea player in the form of MK Dons and Patrick Bamford. Colchester caused something of an upset in that game by winning 3 - 1 at home, Bamford played the full game but was unable to beat his Chelsea colleague in the opposition net. MK Dons other game this week also ended in defeat this time at home to Bradford, the game finished 3 - 2 but this time Bamford was able to get on the scoresheet and notch up his 12th goal of the season. Milan Lalkovic continued to work himself back in contention with 2 starts this week both away games to Crawley and Sheffield United both of which ended in draws for Walsall.

In Spain there was mixed fortunes for Thibaut Courtois and Atletico Madrid in their games this week. Firstly they absolutely thrashed Getafe hitting 7 past them without reply, however it was not such a good result in the Champions league as they only got a 1- 1 draw away to Zenit and Courtois was at fault for the goal that he conceeded. There is still no involvement for Marin at the moment as he still struggles with injury. Oriol Romeu however did get a game this week, he was an unused sub for their league  game against Elche but he got to start and play the full 90 minutes in the Europa League against Swansea and hopefully it can be the start of some more minutes for him going forward. Finally for Spain and Ulises Davilla played the full 90 minutes in Cordoba's second division game against Mirandes.

Elsewhere in Europe and it was Chelsea goals all round at Chelsea's second club Vitesse. This week they were away to Go Ahead Eagles and came away with a 3 - 0 win. Lucas Piazon scored 2 goals in this game both of which from the penalty spot which made his 6th and 7th goals of the season. Gael Kakuta who started on the bench and came on at half time scored the final goal of the game which was a nice solo effort from the player who has struggled to keep himself in the starting 11. Also starting this game for Vitesse was Patrick Van Aanholt who played the full 90 minutes and Christian Atsu who played for 75 minutes. Also in Holland Stipe Perica and NAC were in action against FC Twente and suffered a 5 - 2 defeat, Perica did not start the game but came on for the last 28 minutes of the game.

Thorgan Hazard also had 2 games this week, his first was a 3 - 1 home win against Mechelen but was not able to get on the scoresheet. However in the Europa League and their game away to Wigan it was a different matter, in this game he opened the scoring as Waregem eventually ran out 2 - 1 winners. Finally in the loan action and Wallace once again did not come off the bench for Inter, Wallace still only has 2 sub appearances to his name this season.

Coming up this week the U18's are away to Leicester City in the league and will be hoping to get another win to keep up their impressive form for the season. There is also finally a return to U21's action as they travel to St James Park to face Newcastle in the league. However that is not all as there is a double dose of U21's action this week as we see the first ever U21's Cup game for Chelsea as they travel to Cardiff to book a place in the next round.

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