Chelsea 1 - Real Madrid 3: Initial reaction to the Blues' first loss of the preseason

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

All good things come to an end eventually, and tonight we saw the last of the Chelsea undefeated preseason.

Jose Mourinho picked a decent lineup tonight, despite missing several of his top players. Petr Cech started in net, with Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Gary Cahill, and Ashley Cole in front of him. Marco van Ginkel and Frank Lampard handled the pivot, with Ramires, Oscar, and Eden Hazard in front of them. Romelu Lukaku was tasked with leading the line alone, and often looked like Didier Drogba during the 2012 Champions League Final in doing so.

Real Madrid controlled the play early on, with Chelsea seemingly content to sit deep and try to hit on the counter-attack. It wouldn't be long before the scoring was opened, as Marcelo took advantage of some poor defending by Chelsea to slot the ball into the back of the net.

Chelsea weren't behind for very long, as within a few minutes Ramires had leveled the tie. Romelu Lukaku did a nice job of laying the ball into the path of the sprinting Brazilian, and one patented Ramires chip later, the score was 1-1.

The lead didn't last long, as Branislav Ivanovic made a silly foul of Cristiano Ronaldo well within range of the goal. CR7 wouldn't make any mistake on the ensuing free kick, placing a sublime ball into the upper portion of the net.

Chelsea could feel slightly aggrieved to be trailing at the half, as the referee had failed to award two fairly clear penalties for the Blues. The first was one that we'd see called about 50% of the time, with Oscar tripped up as he was entering the 18-yard box. The second was a very clear penalty that should be called every single time, with Sergio Ramos hauling down Frank Lamard and the referee failing to point to the spot. Madrid had played well though, and deserved the pair of goals they had scored.

The second half got underway with fewer substitutions than we've been seeing, with only a trio of changes being made. Kevin De Bruyne, Fernando Torres, and Victor Moses came on, with Frank Lampard, Oscar, and Romelu Lukaku making way.

The Blues looked better right from the start, dominating the early minutes of the half. Iker Casillas was on his game though, and a pair of spectacular saves within the first eight minutes kept the game at 2-1. Not beating Casillas would come back to haunt the Blues though, as a beautiful run from CR7 resulted in a fairly routine header to make it three.

The 73rd minute saw Michael Essien, Andre Schurrle, and Cesar Azpilicueta replace Ramires, John Terry, and Marco van Ginkel. Ivanovic slid into the space vacated by Terry, with Kevin De Bruyne dropping into the pivot with Michael Essien.

Despite Chelsea holding their own during the final 20 minutes, the scoreline didn't change (largely due to some poor RM finishing and an offside run) and it ended 3-1. Chelsea played relatively well, but in the end came out second best. Here are a few thoughts after this one:

  • There wasn't a whole lot of friendly in this "friendly". Wow.
  • Sergio Ramos hair tonight was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. Whoever thought that was a good idea should be shot into the sun.
  • By the end of this season, everyone is going to know the name Marco van Ginkel. He might be a part time player early on, but he'll be a regular starter by the end of the year.
  • There is definitely some bad blood between Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho. That's fine with me, as I don't really care for Ronaldo's pretty-boy garbage anyway.
  • The guys that looked like garbage tonight are generally the guys I'd expect to take the preseason a little less seriously. The center backs looked like they were ready for the dog food factory in general, and Frank Lampard looked as if it was his first preseason game. I'd hope that doens't happen again in 11 days time.
  • Victor Moses is looking a lot more like the early season terror form last year than the guy that fizzled out under the interim one.
  • Eden Hazard clearly doesn't have his legs all the way under him yet. It was pretty obvious he was spent by the time we reached the final 15 minutes or so, so that's something we'll hope improves in the next couple of weeks.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is just awesome. We all hope Eden Hazard eventually becomes the sort of player he is right now, but at the moment, we just don't have anything comparable.He was the difference tonight.

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