Photo: official Chelsea website

Photo: official Chelsea website

Chelsea development squad were worthy winners in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening as the young Blues claimed a penalty shootout victory at Stamford Bridge against Oxford United senior squad.

Adi Viveash included Kurt Zouma, Ola Aina and Van Ginkel in his starting side for the game, as many of his youngsters were away on international duty.

In a 3-4-3 system, Zouma joined Joseph Colley and captain Fankaty Dabo in a back three protecting goalkeeper Collins. Reece James, on his development squad debut, and Ola Aina lined up at right wing-back and left wing-back respectively, with Quintero and Mukhtar Ali providing the protection in central midfield.

Van Ginkel was a force in the game as he twice fired at goal in the opening 30 minutes. Zouma was brave in defence and made a crucial intervention inside his own 18-yard box to clear a dangerous cross from substitute Marvin Johnson before the French defender rose highest to head clear a teasing inswinging free-kick. In a period of busy involvement for the 22-year-old, he took a blow to the face while challenging for a ball in the air but was quickly back on his feet and able to continue as we defended bravely in search of the victory. Ola Aina was also good in his wing-back position.

In a very dramatic game, Josimar Quintero gave Chelsea the lead just before halftime, but Kane Hemmings who came in as a substitute equalised for Oxford United in 90+4 minutes.

As per competition regulations, the draw ensured a penalty shootout would settle the encounter and it took 34 attempts from 12 yards to separate the sides. Collins, who had missed the first time round, stepped up to score and then saved to seal the bonus group point for the Blues.

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.