News in brief: Fulham U21s lose, Blues face Liverpool, Petrasso award

Williams scored for Fulham's U21s
Williams scored for Fulham’s U21s

Fulham Under-21s
George Williams scored and Patrick Roberts, Chris David and Moussa Dembele all got 90 minutes as Fulham were beaten 2-1 by Athletic Bilbao in the Premier League International Cup on Wednesday.

The aptly named Unai Bilbao gave his side the lead on 26 minutes, following up after Whites keeper Marek Rodak had tipped Mario Barco’s header on to the bar. Five minutes later, the Spaniards doubled the lead through Jorge Luis Garcia.

Fulham responded by bringing on Adam Taggart at half-time and they pulled a goal back five minutes after the break when Williams had a go from distance and his shot found the net via a deflection.

But, despite a couple of good chances to level, the Whites couldn’t muster an equaliser and their opponents confirmed their progression to the knockout stage. Fulham can still get there with a draw or better against PSV Eindhoven next month.

Capital One Cup
Chelsea will play Liverpool over two legs for a place in the Capital One Cup final. The first leg will take place at Anfield on either 20 or 21 January, with the second leg at Stamford Bridge the following week. Chelsea are in the semi-finals of the competition for only the second time in seven seasons.

The home game with Crystal Palace on 28 December has sold out. Supporters are advised not to travel to Loftus Road without a match ticket. Rangers have also sold out their away allocation for the Boxing Day trip to Arsenal.

Michael Petrasso
The QPR winger has been named Canadian Under-20 male player of the year. The 19-year-old has been farmed out to four clubs in 2014 – Oldham, Coventry, Leyton Orient and Notts County, where he is currently on loan. He signed a new three-year deal with Rangers in April, made his first-team debut in May and scored against England while playing for Canada’s Under-20s.

Fifteen youngsters remain in contention for a professional contract at Griffin Park after open trials. Goalkeeper Popa Mitai, defenders Kyle Giscombe, Paal Fjelde, Dawa Joaskim and Martell Solarin, midfielders Nicko Williams, Emmanuel Damie and Frankie Baigent and forwards Burhan Hussein, Mathias Bringaker and Given Gbode will all start a match against the Bees’ elite development squad on 10 January, with Ryan Russell, Conrad Zylko, Reece Collins and Tepe Rapael the substitutes.

Beth Morgan has stepped down as captain of the Middlesex women’s team after eight years in the role. The 33-year-old, who announced her international retirement in January 2013, will continue to play for the club but has opted to pass the baton on. She is succeeded by Hammersmith-born Izzy Westbury, 24, who enjoyed a successful first season at Middlesex after joining last year from Somerset.

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