Weekly Round-up: Youth Undefeated
Monday 12 November
Chelsea U21 4:1 Crystal Palace U21
The U21 team seem finally to have hit their stride and made it two wins in a row. Marko Marin played the first half as a permitted over-age player and had far more influence setting up one goal and scoring another; Todd Kane, Patrick Bamford and Lewis Baker completed the scoring.
John Terry has had scans this morning amid rumours that his knee might not be as serious as the crunch suggested.
Andriy Shevchenko has been offered the Ukraine job after Oleg Blokhin decided to join Dynamo Kiev. Not sure what sarcastic comment is appropriate. Perhaps we just wish him well.
Clattenburg will not now referee next weekend either. It seems the FA has interviewed everyone involved and instead of an open and shut case they are spending another week taking advice before finding us guilty.
Tuesday 13 November
Five-O will not now bring charges against Mark Clattenburg as they have too little information – didn’t stop them running to the CPS when they had less on John Terry but then when have our brave Bow Street runners done anything difficult.
Nathanial Chalobah made his debut at U21 level for England for the last fifteen minutes of a dire practice match with Northern Ireland. Josh McEachran held the midfield together for the first hour of the match in his first game at this level this season but was withdrawn with an injury.
Wednesday 14 November
Sweden 4:2 England
Being generous to your hosts who are opening their new stadium was taken to extremes tonight as the officials simply let Sweden get on with it and England stood and watched as a 1-2 lead was blasted away by Zlatan Ibrahimovic who remains the only man to have escaped from a comic book and lived. Originally written into Flash Gordon in 1937 Zlatan didn’t find a way to escape from planet Mongo to join the real world until 1981 – the rest, as they say, is history.
On his U21 debut Islam Feruz scored two for Scotland U21 as they raced to a 0-2 lead against Portugal sadly the hosts rallied to win 3-2. Islam is still only 17.
Elsewhere New Jersey started to recover from their recent bit of rough weather by staging a friendly between Brazil and Columbia it finished 1-1 with David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar at the party. Branislav Ivanovic captained Serbia against, this time to a 3-1 win over Chile. Juan Mata actually played for Spain as they brushed aside Panama 1-5.
Both Conor Clifford and Tomas Kalas were promoted to the senior squad for The Republic of Ireland and Czech Republic respectively but both watched from the bench.
Saturday 17 November
West Bromwich Albion 2: Chelsea
There is no disguising the sloppiness that gifted the points in this one to the Baggies. The defensive display here was so poor Di Matteo was talking about changing personnel and system at the end.
It started brightly with a host of changes as Ramires, Oscar and Mata were rested ahead of Juventus, Victor Moses started as if eager to seize his chance as he set up Bertrand for a shot that was cleared off the line.
But it was casual sloppiness at the back that upset everything – Luiz was left with Shane Long to mark as a cross came over and the Brazilian was rolled as if he wasn’t there leaving Cech helpless. 1-0.
We huffed and puffed to get back into the match finally Hazard got his head to a cross and the ball deflected in. 1-1.
That should have been the signal for a dominant second-half but instead we left ourselves behind again within minutes of the period starting. We should have had a penalty when referee Michael Oliver joined the Clattenburg fan club by watching Victor Moses barged off the ball in the box while waving play on. Eight legitimate penalty shouts this season and counting.
Sadly, we were still asleep at the back as Shane Long crossed and Peter Odemwingie beat Bertrand and headed through the hapless Cech. 2-1.
The rest of the match was attack against defence as Mata, Ramires and Oscar joined in but Daniel Sturridge had three efforts saved by Myhill before flopping the last one wide.
Roberto Di Matteo was clearly incensed at the end. While we have to generous to Steve Clarke’s resilient side we handed them their goals in a really shoddy display.
More worrying is the treatment we are starting to get from referees. Whistleblowers are traditionally protected from victimisation but referees – who, you could argue, should understand whistle blowing – have decided that any complaint against one of them is a complaint against all.
Liverpool U18 1:2 Chelsea U18
The bright young things have qualified as group winners to the national elite group matches later in the season.
Alex Kiwomya continued a buoyant season for both him and the team with two second-half goals.
Elsewhere: Nathanial Chalobah netted the first goal of his senior career as Watford beat a stubborn Wolves 2-1. Wolves had already had Christophe Berra dismissed for a ludicrous red-card. We have been waiting for a dismissal more absurd than Jose Bosingwa’s at QPR last season and this was finally it. Two players tussling for the ball: neither in control, no goalscoring opportunity, straight red card. Referees are apparently asking for respect.
Kevin De Bruyne scored goal of the week from a loanee for Werder Bremen against Düsseldorf. ITV 4 has Bundesliga highlights Monday night if you want to follow our loan players in Germany. ESPN have Eredivisie highlights where you can catch Gaël Kakuta, Amin Affane, Thomas Kalas and Patrick van Aanholt.
Sunday 18 November
Liverpool U21 3:3 Chelsea U21
Three down and looking out of the contention Jeremie Boga stepped up and hit two crackers that both involved beating a few men on the way to tucking home. They set up Lewis Baker to level from the penalty spot after Patrick Bamford was tripped. It leaves the U21s with a chance still of progressing.