The visitors had the lead with just two minutes on the clock. An initial effort from outside the box was parried by Sunderland ‘keeper Michael Woud into the path of Chelsea’s Ike Ugbo, who converted the rebound to put the away side ahead.
The Blues could’ve doubled their advantage almost immediately after with another long range effort, but Woud was at full stretch to produce a fine save.
Before too long, however, Chelsea would manage to expand their lead. Callum Hudson-Odoi proved too much for the Sunderland back line as he twisted and turned his way through the left flank before firing into the roof of the net to nab his side their second goal.
Sunderland’s first glimmer of a chance fell to Benji Kimpioka. The young lad latched onto the clearance from a corner and raced into the penalty area, but a skyward shot was the most he could make of the opportunity.
Sadly, this glimmer of positivity from the home side didn’t last long, as Chelsea soon got their third. The visitors knocked the ball around the eighteen yard box before teeing up Ethan Ampadu from just outside it, who let loose a shot that found the bottom right corner.
When play resumed in the second half, it showed no signs of differing from the first. Just as before, Chelsea were all over Sunderland and the home side never really got a look in going forward.
Hudson-Odoi would get his name on the scoresheet again as he finessed a curling effort into the top right and beyond the reach of ‘keeper Woud.
Alex Storey further compounded Sunderland’s misery as he gave away a penalty for a foul on Juan Castillo. Hudson-Odoi ensured that he’d leave Eppleton CW with a hat-trick as he converted from the spot to nab his third and his side’s fifth.
Kimpioka arguably came the closest of any Sunderland player to finding the net in the latter interval. A goalmouth scramble from a free-kick gave the young Swede half a chance to tap the ball into the net, but Chelsea had enough bodies in the way to deflect the danger.
All in all, it was an afternoon to forget for our U23s, who were simply outclassed by their opposition today.
Michael Woud - 6/10: Wasn’t really anything he could do for any of the Chelsea goals. I felt for him really, as he did manage to make some good saves.
Owen Gamble - 4/10: Was frequently done for pace in the first half, fared somewhat better in the second.
Josh Robson - 5/10: More or less the same as Gamble, but to a lesser extent.
Tom Beadling - 4/10: Like many of his teammates, he simply struggled to contain the quality of the opposition.
Brandon Taylor - 4/10: See above.
Alex Storey - 2/10: Chucked in some reckless tackles as Chelsea ran rings round him, the foul which gave Chelsea their penalty being the epitome of his performance.
Jack Diamond - 5/10: Decent, if unremarkable.
Elliot Embleton - 5/10: Looked lively. Tried to get things going, but evidently nothing came off.
Benji Kimpioka - 6/10: Was probably the most threatening Sunderland player out there today, but ultimately that doesn’t amount to much.
Jake Hackett - 4/10: Never really seemed to get going.
Chris Allan - 4/10: Once again, see above.
(SUB) Rees Greenwood - 4/10: Didn’t make much of an impact.
(SUB) Lee Connelly - 4/10: Game was beyond dead by the time he came on.