BU21PL: Chelsea start title defence with dramatic win | Barclays Under-21 Premier League

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Monday 18 August 2014

BU21PL: Chelsea start title defence with dramatic win

Charly Musonda's stoppage-time goal downs Man City; Derby enjoy winning BU21PL debut

  • Charly Musonda scores a last-gasp winner for Chelsea (Credit: Dan Davis/Chelsea FC)

  • Substitute Musonda celebrates his 92d minute strike (Credit: Dan Davis/Chelsea FC)

  • Alefe Santons and Kwame Thomas gave BU21PL debutants Derby a winning start

  • The Rams beat Middlesbrough after achieving Category One Academy status this summer

Chelsea started their defence of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League title with a victory against 2013/14 play-off 10-man Manchester City, while Derby County marked their debut in the competition with a victory against Middlesbrough.

First Division

Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

A stoppage-time goal from Charly Musonda ensured that defending Barclays U21 Premier League champions Chelsea started the season with a 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Aldershot Town FC.

"It was a really tough game against a really strong, physical team. They caused us problems but the game was everything I expected it to be"
Adi Viveash

Chelsea, who edged out City on penalties in the semi-final of the competition play-off last term, recovered from conceding inside three minutes when Pablo Maffeo turned home from close range.

Patrick Bamford, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Baker all went close as the Blues searched for an equaliser, while Devante Cole provided the main threat for City. On 77 minutes, Chelsea levelled the scores when Maffeo sliced a dangerous cross Ola Aina cross into his own net. City defender Shay Facey was sent off for a second booking with 10 minutes remaining and the hosts made the most of their man advantage when substitute Musonda fired a low drive into the bottom corner.

The win was Adi Viveash’s first competitive match in charge of Chelsea’s Under-21 side after replacing Dermot Drummy, who was appointed Chelsea's international head coach this summer.

"It was a really tough game against a really strong, physical team," Viveash told chelseafc.com. "They caused us problems but the game was everything I expected it to be.

“The early goal rocked us a bit and it looked for long periods like it was going to decide the game, like it does in many Premier League games, but in the second half we were outstanding."

Chelsea match report | Manchester City match report

Manchester United 3-0 Norwich City

Manchester United opened their campaign with a victory against Norwich City at Leigh Sports Village. Tom Lawrence, who was handed his Barclays Premier League debut against Hull City at the end of last season, opened the scoring with a close-range finish after Joe Rothwell’s initial strike had been parried.

United Under-21 coach Warren Joyce deployed the 3-5-2 formation introduced by first-team manager Louis van Gaal and the hosts immediately reaped the rewards as Paddy McNair’s powerful header from a Ben Pearson cross doubled their  advantage on 33 minutes. Josh Harrop capped off the victory with a left-footed shot with 13 minutes remaining.

Man Utd match report

Division 2

Reading 0-1 Arsenal

Chuba Akpom’s first-half penalty gave Arsenal a winning start to their Division 2 campaign as they beat Under-21 Premier League Cup champions Reading 1-0 at the Soccer AM Stadium in Basingstoke.

The Royals had beaten Arsenal 2-1 in the U21 Premier League Cup semi-finals last term, but Akpom's goal from the spot after his header had been handled by Reading’s Pierce Sweeney was enough for the visiting side to avenge that result.

The Arsenal striker had a series of chances to extend the Gunners' lead but could not convert, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Gedion Zelalem also went close for the north Londoners.

Reading match report | Arsenal match report

Derby County 2-1 Middlesbrough

Derby County marked their debut in the Barclays U21 Premier League with victory at the main iPro stadium.

The Rams achieved Category One Academy status this summer and a penalty from Alefe Santos inside the first minute got the Championship club off to a perfect start in their Division 2 opener. Summer signing Ivan Calero was upended after just 26 seconds and Santos, another new recruit, dispatched the spot-kick.

Calero was also the provider for the second goal just after the half-hour when his chipped cross found an unmarked Kwame Thomas, who fired in from close range.

Charlie Wyke’s far-post finish set up an intriguing finale with 16 minutes to go, but the hosts held on for the three points.

Derby County match report | Middlesbrough match report

Barclays Under-21 Premier League 2014/15 results

Friday, 15 August 2014

Barclays U21 Premier League - Division 1    
Chelsea (Maffeo OG, Musonda) 2-1 Manchester City (Maffeo)
Manchester United (Lawrence, McNair, Harrop) 3-0 Norwich City

Barclays U21 Premier League - Division 2
Derby County (Santos, Thomas) 2-1 Middlesbrough (Wyke)
Reading 0-1 Arsenal (Akpom)

Barclays Under-21 Premier League 2014/15 fixtures

Monday, 18 August 2014

Barclays U21 Premier League - Division 1    
Everton v Leicester City, Southport FC, 7pm
Southampton v Fulham Staplewood, Training Ground, 2.30pm
Sunderland v Liverpool, Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground, 7pm
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, The Lamex Stadium, 7pm

Barclays U21 Premier League - Division 2     
Aston Villa v Stoke City, Bodymoor Heath Training Ground, 1pm
Bolton Wanderers v Newcastle United, Lancashire FA, 7pm
Brighton & Hove Albion v Blackburn Rovers, Sussex County FA Headquarters, 7pm
West Bromwich Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers, The Hawthorns, 7pm

Find out the full Barclays Under-21 fixture list here and view the table here.

To discover all Under-21 Premier League Cup results to date, click 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 begin their Barclays U21 title defence with a 2-1 win against Man City
  • Derby earn a debut win against Middlesbrough in Division 2 after earning Category One Academy status this summer
  • Four matches take place on Monday 18 August