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Academy Match report: Manchester United u21s 1-3 Chelsea u21s

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United u21s hosted Chelsea on Monday night in PL2 action as they looked to continue their unbeaten run.

Chelsea had an early big chance when Mason Burstow ran in behind straight at goal but was denied by the alert Radek Vitek who was quick off his line to make the stop.

Mateo Mejia drove down the right side in the 10th minute and almost caught the Chelsea keeper out as his cross-cum-shot struck the near post and behind the goal.

Barstow had another chance for Chelsea when he controlled down Juan Castillo’s cross before blazing over the bar from 10 yards out.

It was third time lucky for Barstow as the Chelsea striker gave the London side the lead just after the half hour mark. Josh Brookings cut back deflected off Zidane Iqbal before falling to Barstow to slot past Vitek from close range.

Iqbal had chances to draw it level either side of the half but couldn’t keep his shot on target on both occasions.

It was then Brandon Williams’ turn to threaten, getting on the end of Kobbie Mainoo’s cross to head over the bar from six yards.

But the eventual equalizing goal would come from none other than Joe Hugill. Iqbal was tumbled over in the box and while he appealed for a penalty, Hugill didn’t leave it to chance and finished the loose ball under the keeper.

In the 75th minute, Iqbal’s corner was flicked on at the front post by Mainoo and looked destined for the far corner only for a great save by United States international, Gabriel Slonina.

Chelsea were on top late in the match, forcing a number of saves from Vitek but ultimately Vitek couldn’t keep it out as his brilliant denial Harvey Vale fell to Leo Castledine to give Chelsea the lead.

Marc Jurado had supporters off their seats in injury time with a late free kick that curled just wide of the right post.

With United chasing the equaliser, the counter was open for Chelsea, allowing them to score a third in the dying seconds Malik Mothersille who was quickest to react to the rebound off yet another great save by Vitek.

The final whistle came moments later with the final score 1-3, the first loss of the calendar year for United’s u21s sees them remain middle of the table in 7th place.

United: Vitek, Jurado, Aljofree, Hardley, Williams, Huddlestone (Williams 89), Iqbal, Mejia, Mainoo, Gore, Hugill

Unused subs: Mee, Kambwala, Berry, Murray

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