The Blues provided another 4-0 performance in preseason, this time against Hong Kong champions Kitchee in the Asia Cup. We will now go on to play Aston Villa in the final while Kitchee will take on Blackburn for third place in the competition.
Chelsea dominated proceedings from the get-go with the usual problem of failing to test the goalkeeper enough during the first half - except when Benayoun broke into the Kitchee box, was tripped and Lampard smashed home the penalty.
The second half gave us more breakthroughs - our preseason pal Own Goal scored again (I'm glad we managed to sign him from Manchester United), followed by a Didier Drogba header from a Malouda cross. Daniel Sturridge had the goal of the night though with a superb bit of individual work and an excellent shot that sailed into the net. Four-nil and on to the final.
- Mikel will score this season. And it might be a rocket.
- Drogba is still a handful and continues to score goals. It was nice to see him make the start for this match. It seems like AVB is thinking more along the lines of the single-striker formation instead of trying to make Drogba and Torres work together, but we'll see if he keeps experimenting in the remaining preseason matches.
- Slobadan Rajkovic continues to impress me in defense. AVB clearly thinks he's excellent as well because the boy has racked up a lot of playing time in preseason. Unfortunately, we can't seem to get him a work visa which is a shame, as he seems to be a beast in the mold of JT and Ivanovic.
- Don't get me started on Torres. I'm sure Devin and Jack are open to being more favorable about him, but I just don't like the guy. A cross goes into the box and you almost make a run for it but then decide "nah - why bother?" You didn't think the ball would actually get through the defense and bobble across the face of the goal? Aren't you supposed to anticipate these things anyway? I realize it's a preseason friendly, but make the effort! You're driving me insane already.
- One former red Scouse that I have quite warmed up to, though, is Yossi Benayoun. I'm ready to see him in the starting line-up on a regular basis already. His work rate is fantastic and, if we don't make any creative midfield signings, he might be our best hope. He won Man of the Match against Kitchee.
- Daniel Sturridge. Came on as a sub, got a chance to shine, took it magnificently. Are you watching, number 9? I really hope Studge also gets playing time this season. He's worked hard and deserves it.
Now on to the match against opposition we tend to trip up against - Aston Villa and their new manager Alex McLeish. Bright and early Saturday morning - just as it should be here on the East Coast! How I've missed football and our Blues.