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Europe, News, Under 18s

Barclays U18 Premier League: Fulham Beat Rivals Chelsea To Maintain Top Spot In Southern Section

Fulham remained top of the Barclays U18 Premier League southern section after a 3-0 win against arch rivals Chelsea.

Chelsea fielded their youngest squad of the season and they were made to pay by an experienced Fulham side eager to retain their title.

Steve Wigley’s side went ahead early on when Dean O’Halloran got on the end of Jordan Evans cross.

Patrick Roberts showed a moment of brilliance and demonstrated why he is known as one of the hottest properties in this league when he ran from right to left and drilled a shot in the bottom corner to double Fulham’s lead.

Dom Solanke had the best chance to offer Chelsea some hope when he rose highest to get on the end of Trevoh Chalobah’s (younger brother of Nat) cross but he was only able to glance it wide.

Substitute Aaron Redford came off the bench to secure the win for Fulham when he latched on to Josh Smiles’ pass and took it round the goalkeeper before wheeling off in celebration.

Chelsea coach Ade Viveash told the Blues’ official club website: “I’m very pleased with the younger players. To start with seven Under-16s and manage to get an Under-15 on for half an hour, playing a strong, physical team, is really good.

“The first 20 minutes were very positive. We created three great chances but just didn’t take them and if you don’t against teams like Fulham then eventually they wear you down and I thought we just blew out physically with half an hour to go. We adopted a game plan in the first half that we don’t usually play, with a mid-press, and we frustrated them for long periods.

“The first goal changes the game and Fulham’s finishes were clinical. I felt we could have defended all the three goals better but the young players will take a lot out of that game. The last two youth games have been proper physical Under-18 games and that’s not a Chelsea Under-18 team out there today, so I think we did remarkably well to get a team out that could compete like that against a team top of the league and I’m very proud of them.”

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About Tom Bennett

I'm a 21-year-old Multimedia Journalism student at Bournemouth University aspiring to be one of Britain's top sports journalists. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for contact and further information.

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