Leicester City's Development Squad

Young Foxes Lose Out In Seagrave

Leicester City's Under-21s were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea in Premier League 2 Division 1 action at LCFC Training Ground on Monday evening.
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Two first-half goals from Dion Rankine and Charlie Webster saw City's Development Squad fall to defeat in Seagrave during their first match of 2023. 

There were a number of changes to the side who would need to deal with the immense challenge that Chelsea would pose, with Deniche Hill making his debut, while Ben Nelson and Khanya Leshabela featured for City having returned from their loans with Rochdale and Crewe Alexandra respectively. 

Set up with a front three, coach Ben Petty was hoping to exploit the wide areas with the pace of Leshabela and Wanya Marcal-Madivadua, who were positive outlets for Leicester in the opening stages of the game.

However, it was the visitors who would take the lead when a dangerous ball into the box fell to Rankine, who fired into an empty net from only a few yards out. 

The next shot on target would once again go Chelsea's way when midfielder Ben Elliott worked his way to the edge of the box before taking aim, but goalkeeper Chituru Odunze was placed centrally to make the stop. 

Chelsea's early opener gave the travelling side the momentum, and they came close to doubling their lead after half an hour, when Cesare Casadei tried to find the bottom left corner, but saw his effort whistle past the post. 

Five minutes from the break, Chelsea did find the net again to ensure a two-goal lead heading into the break. Webster picked up the ball on the edge of the box before cutting onto his right foot, and firing into the top corner, past Odunze. 

In an attempt to get back into the game, Kian Pennant was introduced as the Foxes went to a back four in defence, and tried to push Chelsea higher up the pitch. He added some fresh pace and energy to City, but any advances were carefully tracked and defended by a strong Chelsea side. 

Over the course of the next 25 minutes, there was a period of high turnover with neither side forcing an opening. With a two-goal lead, Chelsea's focus switched to keeping a clean sheet at the other end, but had to deal with the threat of K. Pennant and Tawanda Maswanhise regularly linking up on the left-flank. 

Within the last five minutes, Leicester would threaten once more with a free-kick on the edge of Chelsea's box. Shane Flynn stepped up to take it, but the Chelsea wall did its job and deflected the ball behind for a corner, which came to little. 

After a prolonged amount of injury time, referee Paul Johnson's whistle blew, and the points would head back to the capital with a Chelsea side who made the most a dominant first-half display. 

Major moment – Webster's Strike

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Charlie Webster
Charlie Webster

Charlie Webster rounded off an impressive first half display from Chelsea at LCFC Training Ground.

The moment of the match came from Chelsea's Charlie Webster who found the top-right corner of the net with a powerful effort from the edge of the box, having made himself the space with some clever footwork.

Who impressed? – Chituru Odunze

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Chituru Odunze
Chituru Odunze

Chituru Odunze in action for Leicester City's Development Squad.

Despite conceding twice, Chituru Odunze made some excellent saves throughout the 90 minutes, as the American 'keeper looked to keep his team within grasp of a strong Chelsea side. 

Where do we stand? – 13th in PL2

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Bayli Spencer-Adams
Bayli Spencer-Adams

Bayli Spencer-Adams was a second-half substitute for Leicester's Under-21s.

The defeat leaves Leicester's youngsters 13th in Premier League 2 Division 1, on nine points from 12 matches, two points behind London outfit West Ham United, who have played two games more. 

Coming up – Arsenal (A)

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Meadow Park
Meadow Park

Leicester's Development Squad will face Arsenal at Meadow Park.

Following the Chelsea result, the Under-21s travel to the capital to face Arsenal at Meadow Park in Premier League 2 Division 1 on Friday 13 January (7pm GMT kick-off). 

The details...

City: Odunze; Wormleighton, Appiah (c), B. Nelson, R. Nelson (Fitzhugh 46'), Hill (Spencer-Adams 62'); Cover, Flynn; Leshabela, Marcal-Madivadua (K. Pennant 46'), Maswanhise (T. Pennant 75')

Subs not used: Doherty.

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