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Player Analysis: Reading FC Under-21s 1-3 Chelsea Under-21s

In front of the Madejski Stadium masses the young Royals were unable to claim a win against a solid and professional Chelsea team. Tarique Fosu's goal did give Reading a glimpse of hope, but defensive lapses allowed the Blues to net three times and claim the U21 Premier League win.

Lewis Ward (GK)

Often helpless for the goals, all of which were tap ins as the Royals defence was befuddled by quicker, more precise movement. That said, the opener was a case of Ward rushing out to miss the ball having got to it second, perhaps fearful of taking out the man for an early bath. Did get down well to deny Ania's long-range effort in the first-half, and kept the score low with a solid reactionary foot block in the second half.

Tennai Watson (RB)

The youngster sat in at right-back and took a basics approach to the game, not over-extending himself and leaving his wing exposed. Beaten for the third goal, but this was due to Mitchell's great agility after Watson had tracked his man well.

Zak Jules (CB)

Came up against the influential Abrahams, who was quick and physical, much like Jules who often put his weight about to good effect. However, he could be accused of ball watching on numerous occasions and was dragged around the pitch by attackers' movement, especially for the second goal. Similar to Michael Hector in his eagerness to chase the player out and put in a tackle, and like the Jamaican, was subsequently drawn out a bit too often.

Conor Shaughnessy (CB)

Started at centre-back, where he held his position well but wasn't able to step in with vital interceptions. Pushed into midfield before being substituted, perhaps his natural position.

Nana Owusu (LB)

Smart on the ball early on but faded a tad. Appears to be an athletic, forward-thinking full back who can read the game with good natural ability.

Andrija Novakovich (RM)

Put out to the right flank to do a job with his physicality and presence, a role which maybe didn't suit the American. Without true, searing pace he found it hard to escape defenders and while he broke free late on, Novakovich was unable to shake off his marker and get a shot away.

Samuel Fridjonsson (CM)

Started the game very deep, sometimes dropping into centre-back as attackers advanced. In the second-half the Icelandic midfielder was given license to push forward and got in behind a number of times with strong movement. Booked for a silly lunge, but appears to be a player who'll do any job he's given.

Aaron Kuhl (CM)

At fault for the first goal, completely misjudging a bouncing ball that allowed Chelsea to score via an admittedly excellent through ball. Kuhl, however, was eager to make up for it, getting forward with composure. Chased the game well, harrying opponents which ended him catching him out of position on occasion. Quieter as the game went on.

Tarique Fosu (LM)

Lively in all the right ways, Fosu was the standout and gave the impression of a player who was used to playing a step above. Netted the equaliser by peeling off from a goalmouth scramble, controlling the ball and dragging smartly wide of defenders to bury the ball via the crossbar. Roamed freely throughout, only sometimes falling for the unnecessary option, ignoring the simple but equally effective pass.

Liam Kelly (CAM)

Originally sitting off Cardwell, the Irishman roamed across the number ten and winger roles. He's smart and technical although this comes across as a bit of a luxury with an eye for Hollywood balls, a feeling which he did well to reverse with an excellent work ethic off the ball in the second period. And, yes, he is still on loan at Bath.

Harry Cardwell (ST)

The central striker, Cardwell looked to get on the end of things and use his strength, hitting the post early on after a good Kelly cross. Ultimately, it was a frustrating night for Cardwell with the quality of opposition very high for this level.


Andy Rinomhota (RB)

A pacey, attacking right-back perhaps more used to playing as an out and out winger.

Gabriel Osho (CB)

Came one as centre-back in a period where Reading pressed high for a way back into the game, leaving Osho with little to do.

Noor Husin (CM)

Sat in central midfield as a quite advanced option who could also spot danger well enough. Appeared to be a really good passer of the ball, finding space well with clear forward intent.