Home » Academy Match report: Chelsea u21s 3-3 Manchester United u21s

Academy Match report: Chelsea u21s 3-3 Manchester United u21s

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United’s u21s were in Premier League 2 action today at Kingsmeandow in West London to face off against Chelsea.

United started well with a good string of passes in the opening minutes despite the blustery conditions.

It was a bit of a back and forth affair between both sides’ midfields for the first ten minutes, with the first shot of the match registered in the 11th minute by Chelsea’s Cesare Casadei after a turnover by Rhys Bennett but the Chelsea midfielder hit into the stands.

In the 19th minute United had a chance to counter with Kobbie Mainoo and Isak Hansen-Aaroen but the Norwegian didn’t have the pace to get away and the attack fizzled out.

The match started to open up as the rain began to pour and United took the lead in the 25th minute. Omari Forson slipped Mainoo into the box for the midfielder to dribble through a crowd of Chelsea defenders. He was knocked down in the process but the United midfielder didn’t have a chance to finish his protests for a penalty as the breaking fall fell to Hansen-Aaroen to slot it into the left corner.

Another chance came minutes later after some good play on the left wing, Mainoo cut back for Charlie Savage at the edge of the box but he hit it high and wide on his weaker right foot.

Later on, Mainoo raced in behind on the left and cut back to Hansen-Aaroen, who played to the overlapping Bjorn Hardley. But the final cross was blocked out for a corner. On the resulting corner, Mainoo soared in the air to win the header towards goal and it was flapped at by the Chelsea keeper, looking like it may trickle in but a recovering clearance was made.

Up at the other end, Lewis Hall charged through the midfield before testing Vitek, but the Czech keeper got down to save easily.

In the 37th, Mainoo jinked and turned in the box to open space before cutting back to Savage. But the ball smashed off a Chelsea defender and out for a corner.

Chelsea attacked late on in the half with a dangerous whipped-in cross that was cleared by Bennett and the follow up shot was sent over the bar.

The rain cleared over the half time break and the sun was out for the start of the second, as was Charlie McNeill, who came on to replace United’s main man in the first half, Mainoo.

Two minutes after the restart, McNeill had the ball in the net but it was quickly called back for offside.

Chelsea immediately countered down the right for a cross that was glanced just wide with a header.

McNeill ran down the right channel and his deflected pass rolled across the goal, begging to be slotted home. But the stretching Forson couldn’t quite reach it.

Chelsea’s Omari Hutchinson got down the right and crossed which United couldn’t cut out and Lewis Hall tapped in at the back post to equalise.

A few minutes later, Savage played McNeill through to the left byline and the striker cut back for Shola Shoretire open in the centre but a faltering effort rolled straight to the keeper.

Chelsea exploited the space on the wings again as they got down the left to lob a cross into middle for Casadei to rise above and head home to give Chelsea the lead in the 58th minute.

Hutchinson and Dion Rankine were causing all sorts of trouble down Chelsea’s right and Hutchinson got in down the right again with acres of space to cut in and curled an effort towards the back post that was only stopped by the toes of Radek Vitek.

Chelsea struck again in the 82nd minute. A low cross from the left was met by Jude Soonsup-Bell, who tapped in at the back post ahead of the cold Sam Murray, who had only entered the pitch seconds earlier.

Late in the match, a high foot caught Tyler Fredricson in the face to earn Chelsea’s Casadei a second yellow and he was sent off.

A remarkable injury time was to come, as Shoretire pulled one back five minutes into the added time. The cross from McNeill on the right was volleyed in by Shoretire with the side of his boot.

Seconds later a great bit of possession play from United kept it in the right corner before Marc Jurado was played into the box and squared for Shoretire again to slot in from close range and draw the match level just before the final whistle.

The draw sees United remain winless nine matches into the season and just two spots off the bottom of the table.

United: Vitek, Jurado, Bennett, Fredricson, Hardley (Murray 80), Savage, Collyer (Huddlestone 71), Forson, Mainoo (McNeill 46), Hansen-Aaroen, Shoretire

Unused subs: Mastny, Mather

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