Gilmour on target for Chelsea’s development side in draw with Man City

The Scottish midfielder is closing in on a return to full fitness following a knee operation

Billy Gilmour got on the scoresheet in a 90-minute runout for Chelsea’s development side on Sunday.

The Blues travelled north to face Manchester City’s second string and in what was an entertaining contest, Gilmour caught the eye.

City took a two-goal lead through Liam Delap and Tommy Doyle, but Gilmour brought Chelsea back into the game with a curling effort from the edge of the box on 48 minutes.

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Gilmour was agonisingly close to a second, as his shot struck a post and almost rebounded in off the back of City goalkeeper keeper Cieran Slicker. 

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Chelsea earned a draw thanks to a finish from Myles Peart-Harris, but just as important as the result was the 90 minutes that midfielder Gilmour got under his belt.

It’s been a stop-start period for Gilmour on the road back to full fitness following the knee injury he picked up in July.

He attempted to get game time under his belt for Scotland’s Under-21s, but was sent off just 10 minutes into a European Championship qualifier against Croatia.

Gilmour played an hour against Bristol Rovers in the EFL Trophy on Wednesday, and moved a step closer to a first-team return by getting 90 minutes in his legs on Sunday.

Blues boss Frank Lampard will have been an interested spectator, as he said prior to the game: “He is fit again. 

“He played on Wednesday night in the EFL Trophy, got good minutes and I’ve heard he played well so we are happy with him and he’ll play again at the weekend in the Under-23s.

“He’s getting minutes but he’s not match fit. That will be a short period as he is a generally fit boy.”

It would appear Lampard will have no concerns about thrusting the 19-year-old back into his plans.

“He made great strides in a short time last year,” Lampard said. “I was very confident with putting Billy in for a big part of the season, from his training and then when the time came.  

“I possibly held him back slightly at times looking back. He put in some really good performances before his injury. 

“We must put some context on it that he is still a young player and we have good competition in the squad in that area but I have absolute faith in Billy that he is going to be a big player for us for a long time to come. I’m really excited to have him back fit.”

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