U23 Report: Chelsea 3-2 Saints

By SFC Media Mon 21 Nov Chelsea U23 vs Saints U23
Mon 21 Nov 2.05PM
Premier League 2
Chelsea
3
Southampton
2
Batshuayi [8' & 87'] van Ginkel [90+1']
Olomola [6'] Sims [16']
Zouma [3']
Slattery [78']
Referee: Dean Treleavan | Venue: Cobham Training Centre | Attendance: 0

Southampton Under-23s narrowly lost out to a very experienced Chelsea side on Monday afternoon, as the Blues won 3-2 at Cobham Training Centre.

Olufela Olomola and Josh Sims both netted their fifth goals of the season, either side of Michy Batshuayi’s fine strike, to give Saints a half-time lead in the Premier League 2.

It took until three minutes from time for Chelsea to find an equaliser, as Batshuayi grabbed his second, before Marco van Ginkel curled home in stoppage time to win it for the hosts.

Martin Hunter and Radhi Jaïdi handed Jake Flannigan his first start since returning from injury, while Florin Gardos was also named in the starting line-up at Cobham.

Chelsea meanwhile named a very strong and experienced side, with Eduardo, John Terry, Kurt Zouma, Cesc Fábregas and Batshuayi all starting.

Despite early pressure from the hosts, it was Saints who opened the scoring. A clever interchange involving Lloyd Isgrove and Flannigan saw Olomola find time to get the ball onto his left foot and drill the ball beyond Eduardo.

Saints celebrate Olufela Olomola's opener

That lead lasted just a minute though, as Batshuayi scored an equally impressive goal for the hosts, finding space to drill the ball past Harry Lewis from 20 yards.

More pressure from the hosts followed, but against the run of play Saints took the lead again. Sims broke forward and cut inside, before seeing his shot deflect off Terry and into the back of the net.

The hosts continued to dominate possession, but Hunter’s side were holding firm. Dom Solanke’s header, that was comfortably held by Lewis, was the closest Chelsea came to equalising before the break.

Solanke went much closer at the start of the second half, as he found a yard of space in the penalty area, but fired a shot off the crossbar, with the ball bouncing away to safety.

Florin Gardos completed another 90 minutes

Saints were doing well to limit Chelsea to efforts from distance, with the most dangerous of those coming from Fábregas, but his strike was saved by Lewis.

After Richard Bakary had kept out a Chelsea corner on the line, Lewis produced another save to keep out Fábregas, as the Saints stopper tipped the Spaniard’s powerful strike over the bar.

Chelsea continued press for an equaliser, and despite some dogged defending from Saints, the goal arrived in the 87th minute, as Batshuayi curled the ball inside the far corner from the edge of the box.

Saints would have been happy with a point after soaking up plenty of Chelsea pressure, but the hosts grabbed a winner in stoppage time.

Substitute Dujon Sterling cut the ball back for van Ginkel who, despite the best efforts of Lewis, was able to curl the ball inside the far corner to win it for Chelsea.

Chelsea

1
Eduardo (GK)
2
Fankaty Dabo (C)
3
Kurt Zouma
4
Cesc Fábregas
5
Fikayo Tomori
6
John Terry
Ike Ugbo (70′)
7
Mason Mount
Dujon Sterling (70′)
8
Marco van Ginkel
9
Michy Batshuayi
10
Dominic Solanke
11
Ola Aina
12
Ike Ugbo
13
Bradley Collins
14
Dujon Sterling
15
Isaac Christie Davies
16
Kyle Scott

Southampton

1
Harry Lewis (GK)
2
Richard Bakary
3
Jake Vokins
4
Callum Slattery
5
Florin Gardos
6
Alfie Jones (C)
7
Lloyd Isgrove
8
Jake Flannigan
Harley Willard (46′)
9
Olufela Olomola
Marcus Barnes (63′)
10
Thomas O'Connor
11
Josh Sims
12
Will Wood
13
Adam Parkes
14
Ollie Cook
15
Marcus Barnes
16
Harley Willard
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