Chelsea U21's beat Southampton U21's 5-3 thanks to a ruthless first half performance from the home side. It was Chelsea's attack that stole the show on a bitterly cold evening in West London.
After a tense opening five minutes, the deadlock was emphatically broken after Kasey Palmer turned on the edge of the area and fired low and hard into the bottom corner. Isaiah Brown doubled Chelsea's lead eight minutes later with a deflected shot that wrong-footed Will Britt in the Southampton goal.
Southampton's defence could only look on helplessly as Palmer scored his second, and Chelsea's third goal of the night. The Chelsea forward latched on to a rebound after Jay Dasilva saw his shot saved.
Debutant Tommy Abraham got his name on the score sheet after Palmer found the winger in the box, Abraham made no mistake with a delicate chip over the oncoming goalkeeper.
The rout continued as Dominic Solanke got his foot on the end of a Jordan Houghton shot. 5-0 down and the look on Chelsea manager Adi Viveash's face portrayed that even he didn't expect his team to perform to such a high standard.
Ryan Seager got one back for the visitors with a superbly struck effort. The lively striker cut inside before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the Chelsea goal. Despite this goal, the half time whistle came accompanied with a look of relief etched over the Southampton players faces, their game plan to frustrate a star-studded Chelsea team failed miserably so far.
Southampton came out fighting and their perseverance paid off after just five minutes, Jake Hesketh managed to scramble home Josh Sims' shot on goal to offer the visitors a way back into the game.
The comeback was well and truly on as Southampton scored again to make it 5-3. Bevis Mugabi eventually scored after sloppy defending from Chelsea. It seemed the Blues might have taken their foot off the pedal too early, the Saints on the other hand were spurred on by two early second half goals.
Despite these early second half goals, the Saints continually saw themselves frustrated by Chelsea's defence; the home team finally seemed to have woken up from their early second half performance.
Chelsea's began to take control in the latter stages but Southampton still had numerous chances to get something from the game. A lack of composure from the South coast club meant Chelsea ran away with the spoils. Final score 5-3.
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