Tough first half, good second half!
Chelsea played their final friendly of pre-season against Borussia Monchengladbach in Dusseldorf on Saturday which ended 2-2. Monchengladbach were also playing their last game of pre-season as they prepare for the Bundesliga that start in two weeks time. Monchengladbach fielded a strong team with a mix of youth and experience. The game was a story of two halves as Monchengladbach dominated the first but Chelsea came roaring back in the second.
Lampard stuck to the 4-2-3-1 formation as Kepa started in goal, Emerson, Zouma, Christensen, and Azpi started in defence. Jorginho and Kovacic started in the pivot, Pulisic, Mount, and Pedro started behind Tammy. From the get go Chelsea were on the back foot as Monchengladbach had more intensity and drive all over the pitch. Chelsea seemed like they were lacking fitness and the German dominance led to Alassane Plea giving Monchengladbach the lead in the 13th minute. The second goal came in the 39th minute as a counter attack was not stopped and Hoffmann doubled Monchengladbach’s lead. The first half lacked energy and intensity and that seemed to have been the talking point at half time as Chelsea came out a better team for the second.
No changes were made at half-time as Chelsea upped the intensity and press on Monchengladbach. The pressure allowed Kovacic to run in on goal as he was brought down in the 59th minute. Tammy stepped up to get a goal back from the penalty spot for Chelsea. Chelsea continued to dominate but a combination of poor finishing and great saves by Sommer meant that Chelsea did not equalise until the 86th minute after Mount did well to get a penalty and Barkley stepped up to score. The game ended 2-2 but Chelsea could have easily got 6+ goals throughout the game. The stats read 22 shots for Chelsea compared to 11 and 12 on target compared 4. The 2nd half also saw Alonso, Barkley, Kenedy, and Giroud come on while Kante also got his first minutes.
Lampard can look back at a good pre-season in which he saw what his team was capable of while working on his philosophy at the same time. Stand out performers were Barkley with 4 goals and 3 assists and Mount while players like Pulisic, Tammy, Zouma, Jorginho, Kovacic all showed that there is plenty of good stuff to look forward to. Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek, Reece James, and Antonio Rudiger are all to come back in the next few months and they are all potential first team players. Reece James in particular could help us a lot on the right side of the pitch. 18 goals scored, 11 goals conceded in 7 preseason games most of those goals came from midfield while conceding so many is a slight concern but the silver lining is that Reece James and Rudiger would help a lot.
Plenty to look forward to in the season to come and next week should be one exciting time for Chelsea fans. The season starts in 7 days, COME ON YOU BLUES!!!