Terell Pennant

Development Squad Battle Back To Claim Chelsea Draw

Leicester City's Development Squad came from behind to secure an impressive 1-1 draw with Chelsea Under-23s at LCFC Training Ground on Monday evening.

George McEachran's opener had Chelsea ahead before Tyrese Shade levelled the scores in an entertaining Premier League 2 Division 1 clash. 

The hosts were forced to play the final 15 minutes with 10 men and battled valiantly to take a point against the reigning champions.

Four changes were made to the Leicester team that drew with Brighton & Hove Albion Under-23s last Monday, with Harvey Godsmark-Ford, Oliver Ewing, Terell Pennant and Ali Reghba all coming into the starting XI. Shaping up in a 4-4-2 system, Will Russ partnered Reghba up front, with Shade and Pennant out wide.

Chelsea were immediately in the ascendancy as Tino Anjorin drove into the area and fired an effort over the crossbar. He had another sighting of goal, this time from the edge of the 18-yard box and once again was unable to find the target.

Soon after, Tino Livramento fired a testing delivery across goal, but nobody was there to latch on to it, before the ball came out to Billy Gilmour, who hit a first-time shot narrowly wide.

Anjorin continued to find spaces to shoot without troubling Leicester 'keeper Chituru Odunze, firstly firing over, before cutting inside onto his right and finding the upright. 

In contrast, City's chances were few and far between. But when Shade worked an opening, Levi Colwill had to get his body in front of the powerful effort.

And the young Foxes were starting to grow into the game as the half wore on. Russ got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Reghba, whose shot was blocked and fell to Shade, who forced Korb Ziger into a diving save.

Back at the other end, Livramento tested Odunze for the first time with a powerful strike that he did well to turn behind.

Leicester were more than holding their own and enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure shortly before the break, but a lapse in concentration almost cost the Foxes.

Anjorin stole possession, unselfishly squaring the ball across for Fiabema, who was again off target with his strike, clipping it wide.

Chelsea did break the deadlock deep into first half stoppage time, with George McEachran sliding in at the back post to turn home Anjorin's low cross.

City created the first opportunity of the second period as Cole Dasilva's out-swinging free-kick was met by the head of Mitchell Clark, but Ziger was equal to it.

The game began to become more stretched, with Leicester eager to get back on level terms and Chelsea looking to exploit the spaces left in behind.

It was the Foxes who found the equaliser on 58 minutes, courtesy of Shade, who expertly placed the ball into the bottom corner after it fell for him just inside the area.

Odunze pushed Gilmour's free-kick out of danger and Hulme had to clear Colwill's header off the line as Chelsea tried to regain the lead.

With just over 15 minutes to play, Reghba was shown a straight red card, penalised for catching his opponent as he attempted an overhead kick. 

The away side looked to make their numerical advantage count when George Nunn forced Odunze into a save, before Livramento saw a powerful shot blocked by Azeem Abdulai.

After more patient build-up play, Gilmour found space to pull the trigger and found Odunze unbeatable, before he had another shot blocked and Anjorin saw his late effort tipped wide.

Leicester still had to survive a late goalmouth scramble when they struggled to clear a corner, but saw it out to claim what could be a vital point.

Major moment…

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Tyrese Shade
Tyrese Shade

Tyrese Shade netted the equaliser in the second half.

It was a blow for Leicester to concede on the stroke of half-time, after their spirited first-half performance, but they came out fighting in the second period and deservedly levelled through Tyrese Shade, ultimately earning the draw.

Who impressed?

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Cole Dasilva
Cole Dasilva

Cole Dasilva put in a strong performance at full-back for the young Foxes.

Chelsea's dangerous front line posed a serious threat that the Foxes' defence had to deal with. Cole Dasilva played an important role at left-back and then on the left of a back three late on, also using his passing range to start attacks and move the ball forward.

Where does it leave us?

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Oliver Ewing
Oliver Ewing

The young Foxes are now unbeaten in two games after another battling display.

Leicester remain 11th in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table, having collected 17 points from 18 games. 

Coming up…

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Will Russ
Will Russ

Wales youth international Will Russ battles to win back possession from the visitors.

City are back on their travels on Friday 19 March, facing West Ham United at Rush Green for matchday 19 in Premier League 2 Division 1 (7pm GMT kick-off).

The details…

City: Odunze; Clark, Godsmark-Ford (Hulme 15), Simpson, Dasilva; Shade (C), McAteer, Ewing, T. Pennant (Wakeling 37); Reghba (s/o 74), Russ (Abdulai 77).

Subs not used: Doherty, Arlott-John.

Goal: Shade 58'.




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