Delap’s clinical curling effort from all of 25 yards opened the scoring just after the 30-miunute mark, before Doyle expertly launched a free kick into the top corner before the break.
But the visitors rallied in the second half and, through goals from Billy Gilmour and Myles Part-Harris, earned a share of the spoils in an end-to-end Premier League 2 clash at the Academy Stadium.
Two sides known for their attractive brand of attacking football were seemingly happy to sit tight and get the measure of each other in a cagey but entertaining opening ten.
The only real early chance fell to visiting right-back Tino Livramento, who found some space on the right of the box, but crashed a low effort into the side netting at the near post.
Enzo Maresca’s men continued to press high and were almost rewarded in the 13th minute when Felix Nmecha showed some clever footwork before flashing a low cross into Liam Delap, but our forward’s across-goal effort was diverted just wide of Lucas Bergstrom’s left-hand post.
We continued to knock on the door, and it took an impressive clearance on the line from Chelsea skipper Dynel Simeu to prevent Cole Palmer from breaking the deadlock just after the 20-minute mark.
A searching ball from Adrian Bernabe eventually found our number seven unmarked on the right, but Palmer’s curling effort was cleared over the bar by the retreating Simeu.
But it wasn’t long before we managed to break the deadlock, and we did so in style through Delap.
Our lone striker picked up play on the left around 25-yards out, before opening up his body and curling a sumptuous effort into the far corner.
And Enzo Maresca’s men didn’t have to wait long to double their lead with another spectacular strike, this time from Doyle.
Not to be outdone by Delap, our midfielder whipped a free-kick up and over the wall from just outside the box and into the top corner of the net just four minutes later.
It was just rewards for City, who had once again won possession high up the pitch thanks to some more relentless high pressing.
It was far from one way traffic, however, and the visitors halved the deficit three minutes into the second half when the ball was cut back for Billy Gilmour to clinically curl into the bottom corner.
Chelsea were then a whisker away from levelling just ten minutes later when George Nunn was sent clean through, but the forward’s effort whistled just wide of Slicker’s far post.
And if that wasn’t close enough, the visitors then struck the woodwork twice in the space of two minutes, with Nunn crashing a close-range header against the bar before Gilmour’s low effort struck was scrambled off the line by Slicker after striking the post.
An enthralling match continued to ebb and flow with City the next to go close; Delap’s instinctive effort being well saved by Bergstrom after substitute Morgan Rogers had flashed a low ball in from the left just after the hour.
But the pressure eventually told, and the visitors levelled just before the 70-minute mark when Myles Peart-Harris smashed home at the far post through a crowd of bodies.
How we lined up
What it means
The draw means we move into the top four, level on points with Tottenham and Brighton respectively.
Enzo Maresca’s men have six days to prepare for their next Premier League 2 clash. The Young Blues face a tricky tie away at league leaders Liverpool on Saturday, with kick-off at 1pm UK time.