Fulham Under-21s slipped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Chelsea Under-21s on Monday night.
Kit Symons’ young side came unstuck against an in form Blues side that entered the game unbeaten in their last five outings and one buoyed by the presence of the watching Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and interim manager Rafael Benitez.
The hosts started well and threatened to break the early deadlock with Islam Feruz and Billy Clifford missing decent opportunities. Their pressure was rewarded however, when Nathan Ake opened the scoring with an impressive curled finish on 15 minutes.
Both Charles Banya and Omri Altman tested the Chelsea defence with some clever inter-play, however, it was the Blues that made the telling difference once more, when Feruz kept his cool to finish smartly beyond the reach of Jesse Joronen.
When Adam Phillip made it 3-0 just before the break, sliding in from Lewis Baker’s cross, the striker gave Fulham a mountain to climb.
Joronen made a fine stop to deny Reece Mitchell on the hour mark before George Saville shot wide, while James Musa made an excellent tackle to deny a further chance for the Blues.
It was an undoubtedly difficult evening for Symons’ charges, who face Liverpool at Motspur Park next Monday. While some billed this match as a dress rehearsal for the First Team’s encounter at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening, Fulham will be hoping for a bit more luck in two days’ time.
Fulham U21: Joronen; Grimmer, Musa, Pritchard, Briggs; Brister, Minkwitz, Donegan, Banya; Altman, Islamovic. (Subs: Arthurworrey, Evans, Tankovic and G Williams)