BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - MAY 09: Lucas Piazon of Chelsea in action with Kellen Daly of Blackburn Rovers during the FA Youth Cup Final 2nd leg match between Blackburn Rovers U18's and Chelsea U18's at Ewood park on May 9, 2012 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
With the reserve league getting a facelift this season, I thought I'd try something a bit new with the match report as well. This is a lot of work, so I hope you enjoy it. I won't be able to do this every time, but for the games I get ot see live I'll make sure to use this format if y'all like it. Here goes:
16' - Piazon tackles the ball away from City and sets Bamford through 1 on 1. Great save by the keeper. Chelsea are pressing very high up the pitch at this point, and it's been all Chlesea since about the 8th minute.
17' - Lewis Baker has himself a go at goal. Had he slid the cross to Patrick Bamford, it's probably 1-0 good guys. Poor decision aside, it was great defensive work from Baker to set up the chance.
21' - George Saville makes another fantastic tackle and slides a through ball to Patrick Bamford. It was just overhit, and the keeper managed to collect it while being run over by Bamford.
22' - Kane presses all the way on the far touchline, nicking the ball away before mishitting a cross into the side of the net. Great pressure, City don't seem to have a clue what to do.
24' - Nathaniel Chalobah plays a great through ball to Lucas Piazon. The first touch by Lucas was a bit heavy, and the shot was blocked.
25' - Chalobah slides another ridiculous through ball to Piazon. He first touched it to Bamford that fired on target. The keeper had it covered, but it was great attacking play all the same.
28' - Bamford gets smooshed on the edge of the bow. Lewis Baker fires his attempt on goal over the bar.
30' - Aziz Deen-Conteh dribbles by 2 defenders, unfortunately his pass to the free Piazon was terrible.
35' - Billy Clifford frees Todd Kane on the sideline, Bamfrd is running free in the middle. Kane's cross get blocked an goes out for a corner. Lewis Baker puts this corner into a dangerous area, but it's dealt with well.
37' - Lucas Piazon runs through the entire defense before taking a heavy touch that rolls harmlessly to the keeper. Nice run though.
38' - Deen-Conteh again makes a nifty run, this time his cross gets cut out by the defense before it can reach Bamford.
39' - Piazon one touches a Clifford feed to Toddy on the flank. Todd cut off his run for some reason and the ball rolled out of play.
41' - A deflected cross falls to Piazon who rolls it to Chalobah. Chalobah fires from 20 yards, and it's deflected for a corner. The corner is dealt with by the defense, but was a second solid delivery.
43' - Billy Clifford just overhits a through ball to Bamford, and the keeper is again clattered stealing it away.
44' - City actually get into the Chelsea 18 yard box. Ake promptly takes the ball away from them.
- 2' - City have a great opportunity to go ahead. Alex Davey does something (I don't think anyone is exactly sure what), and City are through on goal. Jamal Blackman mad a fantastic read and save, although he banged up Aziz Deen-Conteh a bit in the process. The rebound fell favorably to City, but Suarez was unable to put it on net. Chelsea had a pair of defenders there to attempt a clearance anyway, but getting it on target would have been good.
- 9' - After a slower start to the game, Chelsea appear to be settling in. Lewis Baker slides a great ball through to Patrick Bamford, but the keeper manages to nick it away just before Bamford can get the shot off. The ensuing Lewis Baker corner lands on Mars.
- 13' - George Saville sneaks forward and gets whacked on the edge of the box. There is no call. The ball is then cleared out of play so that Lewis Baker can work on his corner again. This one doesn't quite make Mars, but gets sucked in by the gravitational pull of the moon. Improvement.
- 15' - George Saville plays Patrick Bamford perfectly. Bamford gets tripped before he can get to the ball. No call.
45' +3' - Alex Davey runs the length of the field with the ball, but his feed to Patrick Bamford is way too hard. City clear it, and the half ends.
47' - Saville finds Kane running free down the flank, but Kane overhits the first touch.
48' - Ake tries a David Luiz like over the top ball to Bamford which is deflected out for a corner. The unmarked Chalobah just missed connecting with Baker's delivery and the keeper was able to collect it.
50' - City take a shot from 30 yards out. It went 30 yards over.
52' - Baker feeds Bamford who 1 touches the ball to Clifford. Clifford fires wide and weak.
53' - A Todd Kane foul results in a dangerous free kick for City. Blackman handles it perfectly.
54' - Piazon makes another driving run, sliding the ball perfectly to the feet of Billy Clifford. Billy just missed wide.
55' - City get another dangerous free kick after a terrible call. George Saville would head it clear.
57' - City get their best chance since the opening minutes, firing from the edge of the 18 yard box and deflecting it off the legs of Ake. Blackman makes a very tough save look easy.
58' - Alex Davey again does something that nobody can describe. Ake did a nice job of dealing with it. Corner for City, Davey would clear it.
60' - Chalobah has a great interception and turn to get free. Some interchange leads to Billy Clifford playing him free over the top. Chalobah really should have scored that chance.
61' - City get another dangerous free kick, Blackman again deals very well.
64' - Lewis Baker tries to feed Bamford a through ball, it goes just too long for him to do anything with.
65' - Thorgan Hazard replaces Bamford.
69' - Chlobah just overhits a 60 through ball to the streaking Todd Kane. Kane runs a lot.
70' - Hazard tees up Saville for a 30 yard shot. The ball would strike the Chelsea TV satellite, causing us all to miss the final minutes of the game.
74' - Hazard and Piazon do their best impression of other Hazard and Mata. After some really pretty interchange, Piazon fires just too softly to beat the keeper.
75' - Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaces Chalobah. Ruben spent the summer in the weight room.
77' - Hazard leads Piazon perfectly, and Piazon slides on through to Clifford. It's barely poked away.
82' - Kiwomya comes on for Lewis Baker.
83' - Hazard switches flanks brilliantly, but Todd Kane overhits the ball to Alex Kiwomya and it rolls out of play. It's got to be hard trying to lead Kiwomya, so it's very understandable.
84' - City get another corned, Alex Davey clears it away.
86' - Hazard again feeds Piazon, this time Piazon's first touch is just too hard. These 2 are going to be fun to watch.
87' - Chelsea get a dangerous free kick, Saville lays it off to Todd Kane who put it out of the stadium.
88' - This was the moment of the match. Loftus -Cheek fed a perfect ball to Thorgan Hazard who didn't Edenize his backheel attempt. The perfectly left ball was fired by Billy Clifford, but the crossbar kept it out.
91' - The Chelsea TV feed cuts out early (thanks George), and the game ends.
That's pretty much everythng of note that happened in the U21's opening fixture, and it was a pretty 1 sided affair. It's disappointing that Chelsea didn't get the win, but if they play like this they'll win more often than not. The pressure that Chelsea were using was surprising, as this was exactly what AVB was trying to get the first team to do last fall. The U18 squad gets underway tomorrow, so we'll do this all again then.