Jose Mourinho finally got to watch a Chelsea match live and in person this weekend, as he and the full first-team coaching staff took in the Blues' U21 Premier League match this afternoon at Cobham against Liverpool.
The boss was treated to a sight quite rare for him nowadays, a dominant, clinical win over a tough opponent, though with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bertrand Traoré, Jamal Blackman, and Ola Aina in the starting lineup, joining future starts Charly Musonda, Charlie Colkett, Tammy Abraham, and others, there was only ever going to be one expected outcome.
Sure enough, Chelsea thumped four past the visiting Reds, Traoré opening the scoring late in the first half with a header from a Colkett free kick. Three more followed in the first seven minutes of the second half, including this amazing solo effort from Ruben Loftus-Cheek just 10 seconds (seconds!) after the restart.
What a goal by Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Chelsea Under-21s today!Posted by Chelsea Football Club on Sunday, November 8, 2015
The U21 squad's league season has been almost as bad in terms of results as the first-team's, but with the win (just second in the 7 matches played), the Blues move up from just above the relegation spots to 8th in the 12-team division. Of course, for them, the results are secondary to development.
At the very least, if today's #CFCU21 match was a chance to say "hey, look at me and what I can do" given recent events, several took it.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) November 8, 2015
Our season's unlikely to be saved just by plugging Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Charly Musonda into the first-team starting lineup. Then again, could it really be that much worse? Our level of play may be improving slightly, but the results are simply not coming. Maybe youth is the answer? Mourinho has hinted at as much before, but has not really followed through, perhaps precisely due to the improved play from certain key members of the squad. But with the season quickly turning into one of future planning and damage limitation rather than title or even top four challenge, maybe it's time to really give a couple of these youngsters more minutes.