Monday 21 April 2014
Chelsea secured their place in the end-of-season play-offs in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League when they beat West Bromwich Albion 4-2 at Cobham.
West Brom twice pegged back the home side during the first half. Chelsea had opened the scoring through Isaiah Brown, against his former side, but Kemar Roofe levelled matters before Lewis Baker restored the Blues’ lead. But the sides went into the break level as Liam O'Neil finished after a free-kick had not been cleared.
Chelsea pulled clear in the second half thanks to substitute Kasey Palmer, who headed in from close range after Nathan Ake’s header had been blocked. Baker sealed the win with a 25-yard shot meaning that Chelsea can top the league if they win their final match, away to Arsenal on 22 April.
For West Brom, the defeat condemned them to a bottom-half finish and a place in the lower division when the league splits at the end of the season.
Chelsea coach Dermot Drummy praised his side’s recovery after going in level at the break.
“In the first half we let them play and I was really unhappy with the boys at half-time, even though we got two goals,” he said. “But Nathan Ake gets us back in it with his contribution for the third goal, showing sheer determination and Kasey Palmer came on and changed the game for us in terms of competitiveness and allowing us to go forward.”
Before the match, a minute’s silence was held in tribute to West Ham United’s youth player Dylan Tombides, who died on Friday after a battling testicular cancer. Tombides had played Chelsea in the competition earlier in the season.
Chelsea report | West Brom report
Chelsea (Brown, Baker 2, Palmer) 4-2 West Bromwich Albion (Roofe, O'Neil)
7pm Wolverhampton Wanderers v Norwich City, AFC Telford United
7.05pm Arsenal v Chelsea, Emirates Stadium
7pm Leicester City v Manchester City, King Power Stadium
7pm Reading v Manchester United, Madejski Stadium
1pm Newcastle United v Arsenal, Northumberland FA
2pm Tottenham Hotspur v Reading, Stevenage FC