Malaysia XI 1 - Chelsea 4, Asia Tour 2013: Initial Reaction

Stanley Chou

Dominant Chelsea, now with a decent haul of goals even. Everything as expected.

Chelsea scored more goals than the number of times Malaysia XI came even close to threatening Schwarzer & Cech's goal. But that's pretty much how we expected these preseason friendlies on the Asia Tour to go, right? Bit disappointing to lose the clean sheet in the 91st minute on some lackadaisical set piece defending though.

An (ankle?) injury to Kevin De Bruyne in the first half dampened proceedings, but halfway through the second half, Chelsea's most impressive preseason performer (so far) was back on the bench watching the proceedings and walking under his own power. So hopefully the stretcher and the initially shock were just precautionary measures and the injury isn't too major.

Just a few thoughts from me; I'm sure all y'all will have plenty of further overreactions and prognostications to add.

  • Frank Lampard is still carrying a slight knock, so he did not take part. Josh McEachran was also supposed to sit this one out but ended up playing about the last 20 minutes. Nice to see McE back in a Chelsea shirt (for now).
  • Once the injury subsides, I think we'll enjoy Kevin De Bruyne's goal even more. That was a blockbuster and a half.
  • Demba Ba had his shooting boots on today and produced some lovely, powerful strikes. No goals unfortunately for this center forward. Romelu Lukaku, our other center forward on the day did score a nice goal from a lovely run in behind the defense, which made up for some of the poorer touches he had earlier.
  • Eden Hazard may have been drunk. On life, I'm sure. He tried a header, too.
  • The most impressive player for me was young Bertrand Traore. Not knowing what to expect at all, I liked his all-action running on the right wing. Several lovely first touches, a really nicely taken goal that resulted from being the third man into the box, and a nicely timed pass for Lukaku's goal. What more can you expect in 45 minutes from a 17-year-old making his first ever Chelsea senior team start?
  • The defense was once again rarely tested, but one moment that stood out for me was Nathaniel Chalobah's pass early on in the second half. Having received the ball from Terry on his left, the easy, expected play was to continue spreading the play wide to Ivanovic. Chalobah instead picked a direct, precise 20-yard forward pass to kickstart the attack.
  • Welcome back, Ashley "goal-line clearance" Cole.

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