It was an FA Cup weekend, so NBC Sports Network didn't have their usual Premier League game to show. With a gap in programming, they decided to do something awesome: put the Under-21 game between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur on TV.
Since the invention of the Under-21 Premier League, Spurs have gotten the better of Chelsea, but it wasn't their day on Monday. The Blues won a wild one, 5-4, with Jake Clarke-Salter scoring a winner in the 93rd minute.
Chelsea opened the scoring off a turnover by Spurs goalkeeper Thomas Glover. He passed directly to Reece Mitchell, who squared for Tammy Abraham to tap into the back of the net. But Tottenham were able to respond quickly, with Shaquile Coulthirst looping a spectacular header into the top corner just a few minutes later. Chelsea took the lead again before halftime thanks to Fikayo Tomori, who nodded in a corner.
Abraham turned provider just off the first half kickoff, setting up Kasey Palmer to put Chelsea up two goals. They stayed on top for a bit, but Milos Veljkovic came up with a bit of brilliance midway through the half, finding Coulthirst with a great through ball, and Shaq completed a brace.
Then things got a bit crazy. Cole Dasilva restored Chelsea's two-goal advantage about 15 minutes from time with a spectacular curling shot from outside the box. It looked like Chelsea would coast to a win, but Andros Townsend went and scored twice in three minutes. His first came from the penalty spot, after Cy Goddard was hauled down in the box. He added a second from open play instantly afterwards, and Spurs started pushing for a winner.
But of course, that opened up space behind, and Chelsea took advantage. Clarke-Salter took advantage of some poor defending and finished off a well-worked chance from close range to give Chelsea their first win over Spurs in this competition.
- It was great to see Shaq do so well. He's already 21 and he's had some poor loan spells, so he's not going to make it for Spurs, but I hope he's getting on the path to having a really solid pro career.
- Harry Winks was on a different level than his teammates. He belongs in the Championship, not in the Under-21s.
- Milos Veljkovic is weird. He defended really poorly, but his pass for Shaq's second was on some Mesut Özil stuff.
- Cameron Carter-Vickers is really talented, and also 18, and looks like he has a lot of work to do before he's a contributor to a professional side.
- Anthony Georgiou is the player I lacked thorough knowledge of previously that I found most impressive. He's a converted winger who was playing left back, and while he didn't look like he knew exactly what he was doing defensively, he was very good going forward. He made good decisions with the ball.
- Abraham is a monster and I do not look forward to him scoring on the senior team for 10 years.