More Sariball on show but need for improvement.
Chelsea continued their pre-season form with a penalty shoot out victory over Inter in Nice. The lineup for Chelsea was unchanged from the game against Perth and Chelsea started the game with the same high tempo they had in Australia. As Spaletti said Inter were the ones suffering without the ball in the first half. Chelsea had several chance in the opening ten minutes to open the lead and they finally managed to in the 8th minute. Morata did very well to win the ball and jink past a couple of Inter players to shoot on goal and his shot was deflected into the path of Pedro who gave Chelsea the lead. Much like our game against Perth the rest of the half was dominated by Chelsea and while several chance were created we failed to increase our lead.
The second half saw several changes as Caballero, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, and Azpilicueta came on for Bulka, Fabregas, Barkley, and Zappacosta. The difference was clear to see as the tempo of the first half was hard to replicate and Bakayoko’s lazy back pass was intercepted and Gagliardini managed to equalise for Inter in the 49th minute. Chelsea went on to make several more changes during the half with Rudiger, Christensen, Emerson, Moses, Abraham, and Piazon coming on. With players still getting used to Sarriball the drop in tempo was evident but Chelsea still created chances and let a few go by. As the game went into penalties Jorginho, Drinkwater, Moses, Abraham, and Azpilicueta all converted their’s to give Chelsea the win.
Players that impressed me during the game were Morata who seemed fitter and more alert in the first 45 of the game. Pedro had his moments of brilliance but his fading pace was evident as the game went on. Jorginho, and Barkley again impressed in the midfield while Fabregas failed to dazzle without doing anything wrong. Luiz was calm and collected in defence while Ampadu also played well. Bulka also added points to his name with a calm performance in the first 45. Hudson-Odoi was standout he did not have as many take on’s as he did against Perth and he was pushed of the ball a few times but he showed moments of brilliance and Chelsea fan’s can expect some great appearance’s from him this season. Out of the subs Azpi, Christensen, Rudiger, and Emerson will most likely be our back four although Luiz could return in the middle. Caballero was shaky and showed that we need to resolve our goalkeeping situation. Bakayoko was not great and loan move to develop further seems like the best option for him. Drinkwater did the simple things well although he is surplus to requirements and will probably be sold. Moses seems like he will be fighting for a place on the right hand side of the front three although I personally want Bailey or Zaha to be playing there in two weeks time. Abraham impressed and could see himself as the third choice striker this season.
It’s back to London for the squad and more days to train and learn Sariball which will be followed by a showdown in Ireland on Thursday against Arsenal. Will we see in and outs in the squad before that game only time will tell but I am getting excited for next season!