Great going forward, a bit shaky at the back.
Last night Chelsea played their 6th pre-season friendly in Salzburg, Austria as we beat Red Bull Salzburg 3-5. It was a game of two halves really and overall there were more positives to take away from this game than negatives. The Chelsea squad had travelled to Austria in the morning yesterday and played the game in the evening after which they caught a flight back to London.
Red Bull fielded a strong team in the first half including the likes of Halland, and Hwang leading the line upfront. Lampard also went with a strong eleven which could face United plus or minus an N’golo Kante. Kepa started in goal, and Emerson, Luiz, Zouma, and Azpilicueta made up the back four. Jorginho and Kovacic played in the midfield two while Pulisic, Barkley and Pedro played behind Tammy Abraham up front. The first 10 minutes were dominated by Red Bull as they created several chances but our defence stayed solid and made some clearances to keep the score level. Our first goal came in the 20th minute as Pulisic broke the defensive line to get a pass from Kovacic, after taking it down well he kept the ball and shot straight at goal to make it 0-1. The 23rd minute saw some great play by Chelsea as we worked the ball from the back to bring it to Pulisic who drove into the box and was brought down. Barkley stepped up and scored from the spot to make it 0-2. Our third goal of the half came in the 28th minute as a brilliant ball from Barkley was again brought down by Pulisic who broke the line and lobbed the goalkeeper to make it 0-3. The rest of the half saw Chelsea dominate but Red Bull had their chances as it ended 0-3.
The second half saw no changes from Chelsea but Red Bull made 11 changes as a totally new team showed up. Chelsea though conceded their first goal of the day as Luiz conceded a corner and then failed to track Onguene as he made it 1-3 via a header. Chelsea then woke up and the 57th minute saw a brilliant pass by Barkley which found Pedro who ran into the box and backheel flicked the ball into the net for one of the goals of the season to make it 1-4. Changes were made around the 70th minute as Alonso, Christensen, Kenedy, Mount, Zappacosta, Michy, and Tomori all came on as Barkley, Pedro, Zouma, and Kepa were the only starters who stayed on the pitch. The formation changed to a 4-1-4-1 but Zappacosta conceded a penalty in the 85th minute and Minamino made it 2-4. Michy then received the ball in the box and after some good hold up play he smashed it into the net to make it 2-5 in the 88th minute. Minamino then scored in the 92nd minute to make it 3-5 and end a frantic game.
The first 45 minutes saw a great half from Chelsea as everyone contributed to the team and Kepa also made some good saves when called upon. The goals were all deserved and worked well and the defence stayed solid. Pulisic was key in the first half alongside Barkley, and Kovacic who also had a good time on the pitch. The ability of Pulisic to break the line with pace and the quality of people like Barkley to find the ball will come in handy during the season. The second half saw silly mistakes lead to Chelsea conceding the goals but the Pedro goal will stay in memory for a long time and Michy also did well to get on the score sheet. Overall all the starters played well the defence was solid, the midfield continues to look like our most talented area and our major source of goals. Tammy had some great hold up play but will regret not having scored any goals. The subs did not really have any time to make an impact but Michy did well to get on the scoresheet.
A good game overall with plenty of excitement for the fans, the transfer ban has meant that Chelsea have kind of flown under the radar during the summer and hopefully we quietly continue to do our business. Our next game is on Saturday against Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany following which we have a week to prepare for United. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!