Following their opening match draw against Leicester City, United’s u23s travelled down to London to face Chelsea at a boisterous Stamford Bridge.
A quick start to the match saw United launch a flurry of attacks.
The first big chance came when Bjorn Hardley played Charlie McNeill through down the left.
A well composed first touch saw McNeill open the space to fire, forcing a tipped save off of the post. The resulting rebound had the Chelsea defence scrambling as the ball fell to Charlie Savage at the edge of the box.
A powered shot into the bottom right corner was only kept out by a brilliant save from Chelsea’s Sharman-Lowe.
United continues their onslaught with a series of half-chances which were off target or blocked.
Chelsea then gained control around the 20th minute mark and began to dominate possession.
Little in the way of end product was produced though as Chelsea focused their play down their right wing where they struggled to get the better of the impressive Alvaro Fernandez.
Similarly going the other way, Fernandez kick started play for United out of the back on several occasions, including some nice link up play with Hoogewerf but Chelsea’s strong defence proved tough to breakdown.
The second half saw Chelsea continue their control of possession but attacks were relatively even between the two sides.
The stalemate looked like it could be broken when Shola Shoretire spotted the run of Hoogewerf and delivered an inch perfect ball over the top for the onrushing Dutchman.
Taking the ball in his stride, Hoogewerf cut across the Chelsea player with his second touch and was immediately hacked down with a dangerous tackle.
Both players were left down injured for a number of minutes but upon returning to his feet, the ref showed a red card to Chelsea’s Josh Brooking for the awful last man challenge in the 61st minute.
Despite the man advantage, the evenness of the match did not alter and United failed to capitalize.
It was actually Chelsea who would strike first. A moment of madness saw Hardley get caught in two minds mid-swing and scuff a pass straight to Chelsea’s attacker. With the Chelsea player charging into the box Joseph Olowu had no choice but to make a last ditch attempt at a block.
Unfortunately, Olowu caught some of the player and the ball to which the ref deemed to be worth of a penalty. Chelsea’s Harvey Vale stepped up and slotted home from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute.
The dying minutes saw United desperately try to claw back a result. Having switched to the left after the introduction of Mateo Mejia, D’Mani Mellor squared a simple pass to Fernandez outside the box.
A touch inside and then back out saw Fernandez fool two Chelsea defenders, opening the space for him to charge into the left side of the 18 yard box. Despite the poor angle, Fernandez unleashed a powerful shot across goal giving the keeper no chance as the ball rippled the net.
After a lengthy injury time which included a few nasty challenges from Chelsea on Matej Kovar and Mejia, the final whistle marked the end of the match with a final score of 1-1. A fair result against one of the top teams in the league.
United: Kovar (Mee 90); Wellens, Olowu, Hardley, Fernandez; Svidersky, Savage (Garnacho 87); Hoogewerf (Mejia 85), Shoretire, Mellor; McNeill.