Chelsea’s Under-18 side was beaten by Everton on a frustrating Saturday afternoon in the north-west.
Despite a positive first-half display, injuries and a red card, as well as some sloppy defending, conspired to inflict a first defeat of the season on Adi Viveash’s side, who were also in midweek action away at Norwich on Tuesday.
The hosts started well and took the lead inside 15 minutes, but Chelsea responded well and equalised through Fankaty Dabo who finished off a good team move. The visitors could then have gone in front with a succession of chances, only for Everton to retake the lead on the stroke of half-time and add a third in the second half.
Dabo was then dismissed with a straight red card following a late challenge, and is expected to be suspended for three games. Chelsea once again came back though, and were given a lifeline when Kasey Palmer converted a penalty after a foul on Tammy Abraham, but Everton held on to take all three points.
‘We’ve been very strong in the first part of the season and today was disappointing for me,’ Viveash said afterwards. ‘We always look like we’re going to score goals, even when we’re having an off day, and to score two away from home is another positive.
‘They’re very young and will learn about today. You can’t concede three away and expect to get a result, but they’ve had a tough week, three games, which Everton didn’t have, and you could see we’d been to Norwich. Physically, they were a little older and stronger than us, but we have lots of positives to work on with a couple of weeks before our next game now, so we can push on.
‘It was only Jordan Houghton’s second game back, so 45 minutes was the plan for him, and Charly Muonda had a wrist injury, which was painful at the time and I hope it’s not too bad.’
Ben Killip; Ola Aina, Mukhtar Ali, Jonathan Muleba (c), Jay Da Silva (sub Fikayo Tomori); Jordan Houghton (sub Chike Kandi), Charly Musonda (sub George Brady), Kasey Palmer; Fankaty Dabo, Tammy Abraham, George Cole.