Chelsea’s youngsters lost 4-3 at Manchester City after being 3-1 up in their opening match of the Under-18 Premier League elite play-off round.
Dujon Sterling put the visitors ahead after just two minutes at City’s Academy Stadium and there were also goals for Ike Ugbo – his 18th of the season – and Ruben Sammut before the hosts hit back.
Sterling scored the opener after exchanging passes with Mason Mount, but Lukas Nmecha equalised a couple of minutes later.
Ugbo then netted after being found by Miro Muheim’s left-wing cross and was also involved in Chelsea’s third goal, flicking Charlie Wakefield’s cross on for Sammut, who finished nicely.
But City pulled off a second-half comeback, with Brahim Diaz scoring and then being fouled in the box by Sammut, with Nmecha converting the resulting penalty to level the match.
Diaz put City ahead and keeper Daniel Grimshaw produced a late save to deny Ugbo, before Ali Suljic missed a chance to equalise after being set up by Mount.