Chelsea claim Under-21 prize

Chelsea have claimed the Barclays Under-21 Premier League title after beating Manchester United 2-1 in an entertaining final at Old Trafford.

The Blues were first to threaten and Lewis Baker’s shot from range was tipped away by Ben Amos.

But United then began to take charge and they took the lead in the 12th minute with a well-worked goal.

Saidy Janko made progress down the right and then crossed to James Wilson, who neatly laid the ball back so Tom Lawrence could curl his shot past Jamal Blackman.

However, Chelsea responded really well to the setback and drew level 10 minutes later with a fine goal.

Skipper Nathan Ake found Charly Musonda (22) and he cut inside from the left, beating defenders as he went, before finding the target with a low shot.

Suitably encouraged, Chelsea enjoyed a good spell in the second half of the opening period and John Swift was not far wide with his shot after getting on the end of a Musonda cross.

It was all-square at the break, however, and Lawrence threatened again for United just after the interval, only to miss the target with his header.

Chelsea then began to gain the upper hand once more but Baker put a great opportunity over the crossbar and Amos used his legs to keep out an angled effort from Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

And the Blues got the breakthrough 11 minutes from time when United’s Charni Ekangamene mis-controlled, allowing Islam Feruz to find Baker, who scored with a well-placed shot from the edge of the area.

United threatened an equaliser in the closing stages and the ball fell nicely for sub James Weir after a corner but his near post shot was gratefully grabbed by Blackman.

Another sub, Tyler Blackett, then produced a superlative left-footed volley from long-range with virtually the last kick of the game but Blackman flung himself to his right and brilliantly preserved Chelsea’s victory.

post by greezy