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23 December 2014

Young Yellows struggle against Chelsea

NORWICH City's Premier League International Cup campaign got off to a miserable start as they were beaten 5-0 by Chelsea at Kingsmeadow.

City are alongside the Blues, Borussia Monchengladbach and FC Porto in one of the four-team groups for the inaugural competition, but they struggled to match their opening opposition on Tuesday afternoon.

Chelsea were 1-0 up at half-time thanks to Alex Kiwomya's outstanding volley, and pushed on in the second period with strikes from Jeremie Boga and Dominic Solanke (2), plus an Adel Gafaiti own goal.

Declan Rudd started in between the sticks for the Canaries, with Josh Murphy on the wing and defender Kyle McFadden returning from injury.

Murphy tested Mitchell Beeney in goal with a free-kick early on before Kasey Palmer saw a well-struck effort rise just over the bar for the hosts' first sight at goal.

Four yellow cards inside the first 20 minutes - two for each side - was indicative of the competitive rivalry between the two age groups that has existed since City defeated Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup final two seasons ago.

It was the Blues who got first bragging rights, though, when they opened the scoring on 25 minutes as Kiwomya volleyed home with aplomb from Jay Dasilva's cross.

Palmer then went close to doubling their lead almost immediately before John Swift saw a free-kick deflect wide, but Norwich then had a decent shout for a penalty rejected.

Fankaty Dabo felled former Blues youngster Cameron McGeehan in the box, but referee Antony Coggins didn't judge it to be a punishable offence.

Only a couple of minutes into the second period, Chelsea went two-up in fortunate circumstances when Gafaiti sliced Kiwomya's cross into his own net.

Murphy kept Beeney on his toes after breaking down the left and firing at goal but the Blues remained on the up and after Boga floated one free-kick just wide, he got their third goal.

Boga himself was fouled by Reece Hall-Johnson, and he stood up to strike the set-piece into the top corner of Rudd's net, leaving the Canaries with much to do.

Dabo put an an effort wide as they chased a fourth, and they were to get it just a few minutes later through Solanke.

Captain Jordan Houghton expertly picked out Kiwomya, and Solanke converted the winger's cross to put the game beyond Paul Wilkinson's City.

The lively Murphy shot over in the closing moments, but not before there was time for Solanke to deliver the final blow as he raced onto a long ball to bag his second and his team's fifth.

City are next in action in this competition on Tuesday January 27, when they welcome German side Borussia Monchengladbach to Carrow Road (7pm).

FULL-TIME: Chelsea 5-0 Norwich City

CHELSEA: Beeney; Dabo (Tomori), Houghton (c), Clarke-Salter, Dasilva; Colkett, Swift, Boga; Kiwomya (Sammut), Solanke, Palmer (Mitchell). Subs not used: Granger (GK).

NORWICH CITY: Rudd; Hall-Johnson, McFadden (c) (Ramsay), Gafaiti, Kelly; Grant; Norman (Efete), McGrandles, McGeehan, Murphy; Loza. Subs not used: Oxborough (GK), Cantwell, Byrne-Hewitt, Black.

REFEREE: Antony Coggins

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