Chelsea’s impressive Checkatrade Trophy (née EFL Trophy) run continued on Tuesday, with another noteworthy performance from Joe Edwards’ U21 charges, playing in the big house of Stamford Bridge.
Goals from Harvey St Clair, Daishawn Redan, and Juan Castillo have propelled Chelsea into the semifinals of the competition against the mid-table (albeit somewhat struggling) League One visitors, Oxford United. It was Oxford interim manager Derek Fazackerley’s first match in charge after Pep Clotet was sacked the day before.
While he did not get on the scoresheet himself, Chelsea’s biggest star was, who else, Callum Hudson-Odoi, who collected two assists and was also instrumental in creating the first goal. Hudson-Odoi faded a bit in the second half as Oxford pushed to come back from their 2-0 half-time deficit, but Chelsea weathered the storm (strong defending from Trevoh Chalobah and Ethan Ampadu and a few nice saves from the massive Marcin Bulka), got the third after a bit of enterprising play from Castillo and booked their spot in the final four.
Trevoh even had time for an excellent David Luiz impression.
@DavidLuiz_4 look at what you have my bro doing @TrevohChalobah https://t.co/1Zu9Cy9nr8— Nathaniel Chalobah (@chalobah) January 23, 2018
.@TrevohChalobah! pic.twitter.com/D6byE6qxlW— Scouted Football (@ScoutedFtbl) January 23, 2018
Chelsea started strongly and played the older and more experienced side completely off the park in the first 20 minutes, building a two-goal lead that they would not relinquish. Chelsea were probably unlucky to not get several more — St Clair alone could’ve (should’ve?) had a hat-trick.
While the skill players will take the headlines, Chelsea’s control of the game, thanks in no small part to the excellent work in the middle from Kyle Scott and captain Ruben Sammut in the 3-4-3 setup should not go without mention.
The U21s are thus one game away from April’s Wembley final. But first, the semifinal, in about a months’ time.
Well done, boys!
Callum Hudson-Odoi's last three Chelsea games:— Scouted Football (@ScoutedFtbl) January 23, 2018
vs Sunderland U-23s:
21' ⚽️ Goal
59' ⚽️ Goal
73' ⚽️ Goal
vs West Brom U-18s:
32' ⚽️ Goal
52' ⚽️ Goal
vs Oxford United:
SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD. pic.twitter.com/0zBUz20oFd