Anthony Elanga.

Under-23s handed lesson at Chelsea

Friday 18 December 2020 13:57

Manchester United's Under-23s ended 2020 in disappointing fashion with a 6-1 defeat to Premier League 2 leaders Chelsea, by the Thames on Friday morning.

Chelsea raced into a two-goal lead inside three minutes and. from then on. it was an uphill task for Neil Wood’s lads. A further four goals added to United’s woes but a late strike from Joe Hugill at least ended a testing day on a high note.

High noon was the kick-off time for this last fixture of the year, against the table-topping Blues at a wintry Kingsmeadow Stadium, and United were immediately facing a storm of our own as the Blues hurtled into a two-goal lead within three minutes.

Teden Mengi captained the side in the capital.
Robert Massey-Ellis, the match referee, had barely taken the whistle from his mouth after starting the action, when Chelsea were celebrating as Marcel Lewis gave them a dream start inside 56 seconds. It was a rare stumble from United’s ever-reliable captain Teden Mengi which allowed the Tino Anjorin to break forward unchallenged before crossing the ball into the danger zone where Lewis was perfectly placed to find the net with the aid of a slight deflection.

Less than two minutes had elapsed after that dramatic start when United were licking our wounds again as the Blues struck again with the highly rated Jude Soonsup-Bell doubling their lead with a bending finish to mark his first start at this level.

United were understandably shell-shocked at being two goals down so soon after the kick-off, but there was no point dwelling on the misfortune and we gradually found their feet and began to make more frequent excursions in to Chelsea territory.

Facundo Pellistri had the ball in the net, after 14 minutes, but the assistant-referee’s flag was already blowing in the wind. Anthony Elanga went close, as did Hannibal but the task became even more difficult after 34 minutes when Anjorin, aided by Tino Livramento, struck Chelsea’s third goal of the afternoon.

Chelsea kept up the heat after the break to make it a difficult afternoon in the capital, adding a further three goals to their total.

Anjorin his scored his second and his team’s fourth from the penalty spot six minutes into the second half, following a foul by Alvaro Fernandez on Livramento. Lewis also made it two for the day, with a low drive past Woolston after 68 minutes, and substitute Charlie Brown got into the act as the game neared its closing stages by beating the keeper in a one-on-one situation.

However, there was still time for United to actually finish a tough game strongly and, after Arnau Puigmal and Shola Shoretire had efforts, Fernandez stormed down the left to find substitute Hugill, with a well-judged cross, and the former Sunderland striker slammed home to at least grab a consolation.

Ethan Galbraith turns away with the ball in midfield.


 Woolston; Puigmal, Laird, Fish, Mengi, Fernandes; Shoretire, Galbraith (Helm 69), Hannibal; Pellestri (Hugill 65), Elanga.

 Mastny, Devine, McCann.

Scorers: Lewis 1,68 Soonsup-Bell 3, Anjorin 34,51 (pen) Brown 72) | Hugill 84.