Chelsea FC international duty roundup for August 14, 2013

Stanley Chou

The Blues escaped from this break without any sort of injury, and can now focus on games that actually count

Wednesday was full of international friendlies, and Chelsea fans everywhere crossed their fingers and held their breath that our players would all escape the day unharmed. The long, nervous wait is now over, and it looks as if Chelsea fans can relax again in advance of this weekend's opener.

The scariest games for Chelsea fans was certainly the Belgium game, as it featured four Chelsea players in the starting XI. Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Kevin De Bruyne are all in contention for starts against Hull City, while Thibaut Courtois will be the number one at Atletico Madrid this season. Courtois played the full 90 minutes in the 0-0 draw, Lukaku played an hour, Hazard was pulled in the 74th minute, and De Bruyne came off with five minutes left to play.

Hazard, Lukaku, and De Bruyne had their moments, but it looked like all three had more important fixtures on their mind. I can't say that I blame them there, as the game against France wasn't particularly important anyway. Courtois looked  like his usual solid self in goal, which should have Atletico fans thrilled.

The England/Scotland game featured a trio of Blues in the three lions squad, with Gary Cahill starting at Wembley. Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard both started the match on the bench, with Lampard coming on at the half and Cole going unused in the 3-2 victory.

Cahill didn't look particularly good in this one, and was especially poor in defending the second Scotland goal. Kenny Miller made him look silly when he got free in front of goal, and made no mistake in finishing the chance.

Lampard didn't look a whole lot better when he came on, although in fairness, he's hardly played this preseason. He was late with several challenges and earned a yellow for a particularly poor attempt, but he did manage to force a very good save on a cracking attempt from about 30 yards out.

Branislav Ivanovic played 61 minutes at right back for Serbia in a 1-0 loss to Colombia. Victor Moses played the second half of a 2-0 victory over South Africa, a game that neither John Obi Mikel or Kenneth Omeruo were involved in.

David Luiz and Oscar were called into the Brazil squad for their 1-0 loss to Switzerland, a game decided by a sublime goal from Dani Alves. The only issue with the goal was that he put it in the wrong net, dooming the Conferderations Cup champions to defeat.

Oscar got the start for Brazil, and played 59 minutes before coming off. He set up Hulk with an absolutely golden opportunity, but the Zenit man botched the chance and Brazil didn't end up scoring. David Luiz did not take part, as Big Phil (wisely) decided not to risk his injury further.

Andre Schurrle made a 10 minute cameo for Germany, although the game remained at the same 3-3 score it was at when he entered the contest. It was a relatively quiet appearance for Schurrle, much like the story of his preseason.

Marco van Ginkel started on the bench for the Netherlands against Portugal, but came on for Rafael van der Vaart at the half. He looked calm and composed throughout his time on the pitch, and the sides ended locked in a 1-1 draw.

No Chelsea players were involved in Spain's 2-0 victory over Ecuador, although Vincente Del Bosque was kind enough to bring Cesar Azpilicueta along to sit the bench and probably suffer jet lag ahead of this weekend. Thankfully, Juan Mata was not subjected to the same sort of silly decision*.

*I'll be a bit upset if Fernando Torres is in the squad on Sunday anyway, so I really couldn't care less if he's flying laps around the world at the moment

The highlight of the day for Chelsea fans came from long-term trialist Bertrand Traore, who got a start against Morocco (a game Burkina Faso won 2-1). Traore played a big part in the victory, finding the back of the net.


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