A game of two halves.
Chelsea took local rivals Tottenham on at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night in front of 20,000 home fans for a friendly. The friendly was part of the Mind Charity Series which is raising awareness mental health. Proceeds from the games will go to the organisation at a time when mental health is a big part of so many people’s lives. There was a small showcase for the Champions League trophy before kickoff as chants of “Champions of Europe” rang out around the Bridge.
Tuchel went with a strong lineup once again as Mendy started in goal with a back three of Chalobah, Zouma, and Rudiger. The wing backs were Hudson-Odoi, and Alonso while the midfield was Kovacic, and Kante. Ziyech, Havertz, and Werner started up front. To say Chelsea dominated the 1st half would be an understatement. It was total domination from the Blues. The ball barely reached Mendy for the entire 45 minutes. The first goal came in the 16th minute as Kante nicked the ball in the midfield and played a pass into Ziyech. Ziyech ran forward and Werner made a decoy run to create more space for the Moroccan. Ziyech took aim and fired past Golini to make it 1-0. A brilliant goal. Werner then had a chance but his shot was blocked into Ziyech’s path who’s shot just went wide. Ziyech then played Werner in who broke the line and finished past Golini but the goal was wrongly ruled offside. Spurs had no chances and Mendy was a passenger in the 1st half.
The 2nd half saw Tuchel make some changes with Bakayoko, and Pulisic coming on for Kante, and Hudson-Odoi. Bakayoko looked shaky and lost the ball in midfield which almost allowed Spurs to equalise. Ziyech then made it 2-0 in the 49th minute after some good play down the left hand side with the likes of Alonso providing the assist. Werner then had a good chance but his shot went wide from inside the box. While the German had another chance but his shot was saved by Golini. Bakayoko then lost the ball in midfield again as Lucas got one goal back via a deflection from Rudiger in the 56th minute. Abraham, Sarr, Zappacosta, Kenedy, Anjorin, Loftus-Cheek, and Ampadu then came on in the 63rd minute with only Mendy and Chalobah not left on the pitch from the start. Anjorin immediately looked lively and he created a brilliant chance for himself but his shot was saved by Golini. Bergwijn then equalised in the 70th minute after Sarr had lost the ball in midfield and allowed Spurs to counter. Miazga came on as the final sub for Chelsea as the game ended 2-2.
Chelsea Team Review
Mendy played the full 90 in this game and he had very little to do for about 60 minutes. There were some saves in the final 30 minutes. Very little could be done for the 1st goal by Spurs but Mendy should have done better in the 2nd goal as it went between his legs from a tight angle. Either way it’s about the match fitness and Mendy looks ready now.
The defence was solid for the 60 minutes. Chalobah impressed once again showing pace and intelligence at the back. The returning loanee also made some brilliant last ditch tackles. Sarr did not paint himself in glory while Ampadu got his first minutes and looked decent. Miazga came on for the final few minutes as well. Hudson-Odoi had another game at wing back but failed to impact the game from his position. Alonso got an assist and looked ok but his lack of pace was apparent. Zappacosta did well when he came on and so did Kenedy as they looked lively in those positions.
Kante and Kovacic were flawless when they were on the pitch. Kante was his majestic self and there was one specific moment when he Cruyff turned Alli which was epic. Kovacic was able to play some brilliant forward passes as well. Bakayoko did not have a great game and probably won’t be wearing Blue again. Loftus-Cheek looked good and used his body well. RLC is also showing that burst of pace that he had in 2019. Anjorin had some brilliant moments none better than a marauding run from the right which deserved a goal.
Havertz was decent while Werner should have got a goal to his name. Werner’s movement and danger was key again. Ziyech was on another level though 2 goals and what should have been an assist. Ziyech’s pressing also looks much better and he looks in good form as we head into the start of the season. Pulisic had some good moments while Tammy had a shot off but it was saved by Golini.
Tuchel saw 60 minutes of total domination but when the changes and the fact that we switched formations for a bit meant that we opened up ourselves to Spurs. The goals of course were born out of individual mistakes and Sarr along with Bakayoko probably won’t be part of the squad this season. Another good pre-season outing.
Chelsea’s next official game and first competitive game of the season is next Wednesday as we take on Villarreal in Belfast for the Uefa Super Cup. There is apparently going to be a training ground game on during the weekend which should allow the likes of Mount, Reece etc some minutes for fitness. Tuchel and the coaching staff now have to make decisions on who to keep, loan and push forward for a sale. Busy weeks ahead on that front but the proper football begins soon.