So. Six days after the trophy lift and we continue with the meaningless games. At least this one, against the Thailand All-Stars in Bangkok, was an official friendly rather than the trio of sleepwalked Premier League games which proceeded it, but that's hardly the sort of matchup that gets the blood flowing.
Both sides were fairly conservative throughout. If you've ever tried to play football in this sort of climate you'll understand why -- the players were being steamed alive on the pitch, and even the fittest of athletes couldn't go all-out for even 45 minutes. That made for a pleasant enough match, with the youth players getting a runout and everyone enjoying themselves in the 1-0 win.
Chelsea reserved most of their superstars for the second half, but that mostly meant that Dom Solanke, Izzy Brown and Jeremie Boga were given a chance to shine. And they did very well -- the goal came from a
Brown Aina cross which was flicked on by Loïc Rémy and then hammered into the bottom corner by Solanke, and Boga chipped in very late by sparking a counter which Solanke would have scored from bar a very weird bobble.
In midfield, Charlie Colkett played very well alongside John Obi Mikel, and the back line was rarely at threat. When it was, the danger was snuffed out very nicely -- there was a particularly glorious tackle from Colkett in the penalty area to deprive the Thailand All-Stars of a chance to test Petr Cech.
We had a full rotation at the interval, which makes a great deal of sense considering the heat. That meant the star forwards came out to play, pretty much every touch screamed on by some very enthusiastic supporters. Diego Costa was particularly impressive leading the line, and he set up Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Eden Hazard for an early chance which the latter blazed wide.
Hazard, having missed with the shot, then tried to set up everyone else to frequently hilarious results, turning scoring chances into weird messy scrums. And speaking of scoring chances, the All-Stars did manage to beat Jamal Blackman in the 70th minute, but Andreas Christensen was on hand to make a nice headed save before the ball found the goal.
Cesar Azpilicueta popped up with a tantalising cross later on, but neither Loftus-Cheek nor Hazard could turn the ball into the unguarded net, the latter possibly being a little discombobulated by his teammate's attempt. Solanke came back out for Costa as the game was dying down, presumably to ensure that nothing untoward happened to Costa's hamstring, and after a succession of corners and a late Charlie Musonda miss that was pretty much that.
We never even got into first gear, let alone out of it. This was the footballing equivalent of the first drink after a long day's work, and as an extension of Monday's victory parade was all rather enjoyable.