BY PAUL LAGAN
Chelsea’s development squad followed up their home defeat to Everton last week with another one – this time a 1-0 against against an experienced Derby County side at Stamford Bridge tonight.
Veteran hit man Chris Martin notching up the only goal in the first half.
However the real story concerned the attacking threesome of Chelsea where Tammy Abraham, Charly Musonda and Callum Hudson-Odoi all started.
All three have been training with the U23s having failed to convince first team head coach Maurizio Sarri that they should figure in his senior plans.
Assistant manager Gianfranco Zola was in attendance to keep an eye on the three.
With an host of scouts in the press box, their eyes were also on the trio – but could any club afford to pay for a loan deal?
They were all involved in the first attack, Hudson-Odoi to Abraham to Musonda. The wide man’s shot tipped away for a corner.
Abraham has a low right-footed drive on 10 minutes, which Josh Barnes did well to get down to.
Derby striker Chris Martin showed his experience and after a smart one-two at the edge of the Chelsea penalty area with Timi Elsnik, and the opposition’s first attack of the game, cooly slotted home past Marcin Bulka.
Alex Babos had an shot, on target, on 30 minutes but it went straight too Bulka. A clever, late run by Luke McCormick almost reaped dividends on 35 minutes but his flicked, glancing effort, from the six-yard box was took weak and Barnes snaffled nip the effort.
Tariq Uwakwe replaced McCormick at half time.
Derby had the ball in the back of the net on 47 minutes, but Ikechi Anya was just offside. Add Martin getting a yellow for a reckless challenge on Tariq Lamptey and the restart was as lively as the first half.
Timi Elsnik should have doubled Derby’s lead but he blasted over from just inside the Chelsea area.
Musonda entered referee Lloyd Wood’s book for a needless pull back on Elsnik on 65 minutes.
Musonda was given a second yellow on 73 minutes for an innocuous coming together with Babos.
Daishawn Redan was waiting to enter the fray but was promptly told to side back down by manager Joe Edwards as the Blues needed to regroup.
Abraham headed over late, but the rugged away side were too powerful in the final third to allow the Blues any real goal-scoring threat.
Teams: Bulka, Lamptey, Colley Guehi, Castillo, McEachran, McCormick, Gilmour, Abraham, Musonda, Hudson-Odoi,
Subs: Mola, Cumming, Dean, Uwakwe, Brown
Derby Barnes, Gordon, Madonald, Thorne, Walsall, Bateman, Guy, Elsnik, Martin, Babos, Anya
Subs: Eyoma, Ravas, Cresswell, karmic, McAllister
referee: Lloyd Wood
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