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Monday 21 April 2014

Barclays U21s: Baker double confirms Chelsea's play-off place

Victory over West Brom assures top-four finish for Dermot Drummy's side

  • Chelsea's Isaiah Brown opened the scoring against his former side

  • Lewis Baker scored twice for Chelsea to confirm their play-off spot

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

Barclays Under-21 Premier League result

19 April
Chelsea (Brown, Baker 2, Palmer) 4-2 West Bromwich Albion (Roofe, O'Neil)

Barclays Under-21 Premier League fixtures

22 April
7pm Wolverhampton Wanderers v Norwich City, AFC Telford United
7.05pm Arsenal v Chelsea, Emirates Stadium

23 April
7pm Leicester City v Manchester City, King Power Stadium

24 April
7pm Reading v Manchester United, Madejski Stadium

25 April
1pm Newcastle United v Arsenal, Northumberland FA

27 April
2pm Tottenham Hotspur v Reading, Stevenage FC

Top of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League table

  P W D L GD Pts
Liverpool
21 13 3 5 25 42
Chelsea
20 12 5 3 22 41
Fulham
21 11 5 5 8 38
Man Utd
20 10 6 4 15 36
Southampton
21 11 3 7 5 36
Man City
19 11 2 6 21 35
Sunderland
21 10 5 6 7 35
Leicester
20 10 4 6 6 34

Find out the full Barclays U21 Premier League fixture list here and view the table here.

You can follow developments on Twitter with the Premier League's account @premierleague or via the hashtag #BU21PL

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Key Points

  • Chelsea confirm place in Barclays Under-21 Premier League play-offs with victory over West Brom
  • Lewis Baker scores twice in the victory at Cobham
  • Chelsea could finish the regular season in first place if they beat Arsenal in their final match