With just three official games scheduled for pre-season in addition to the glorified friendly known as the Community Shield, we were expecting Chelsea to play a match or two behind closed doors as well, just as we did last season while in Austria. Chelsea won that game against fourth division side ATUS Ferlach 8-0, and we almost matched that scoreline today as nextdoor neighbors Fulham stopped by for a visit.
Chelsea 8-2 Fulham!— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 15, 2017
Here's the report as our pre-season campaign gets off to a strong start... https://t.co/KgpCqOQTt2
#FFC Starting XI: Button, Fredericks, Sigurdsson, Djalo, Ream, McDonald, Cairney, Cisse, Johansen, Aluko & Ayite. ⚫️⚪️ #COYW— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) July 15, 2017
FT: #FFC fall to a 8-2 defeat against an impressive Chelsea side.— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) July 15, 2017
A brace each from Michy Batshuayi and Loïc Rémy, the only two strikers currently on the team, plus a hat-trick from Willian and even a strike from César Azpilicueta ensured that a good time was had by all, including new arrival Tiemoué Bakayoko, who was in the stands.
New Blue @TimoeB08 is at Cobham watching the friendly against Fulham... pic.twitter.com/7W3fuTgBV1— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 15, 2017
Since there is no video of this event, and it’s just a preseason friendly anyway, there’s not much point in talking about the game itself, but perhaps what is notable is that Chelsea started the match with as much of the first-team lineup from last season as possible and then did almost a full rotation in the second half, although without Andreas Christensen or Charly Musonda, who were not involved for one reason or another (perhaps because their places in the first-team are already assured).
Chelsea starting XI today: Caballero; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro.— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 15, 2017
With Hazard injured, Costa absent, Matić quarantined, and Courtois not playing, that’s as close to the standard lineup from last season as we get. Unsurprisingly, they were up 5-1 by half.
Our second-half team: Eduardo; Kalas, David Luiz (c), Clarke-Salter; Tomori, Scott, Pasalic, Kenedy; Baker, Remy, Boga.— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 15, 2017
Apparently David Luiz, Azpi, and Cahill each rotated in for 15-minute turns at the heart of the defence, but what was more interesting was Fikayo Tomori as the backup right wing-back, Lewis Baker taking a more attacking role on the forward line, and youngster Kyle Scott and loan army veteran Mario Pašalić partnering in the middle. And it’s lovely to see Jeremie Boga with the first-team instead of the development squad as was reported earlier this week.
Speaking of the development squad, they drew 1-1 at Crawley Town today, youngster Charlie Brown scoring the goal for the Blues. Notable involvement in this one for Kenneth Omeruo and Michael Hector, while on a more positive slant, 16-year-old new signing Ethan Ampadu also got to play.
#CFCDev: Blackman, Grant, Omeruo, Hector, Ampadu, Sammut, Christie-Davies, McCormick Ugbo, Hudson-Odoi, Castillo.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) July 15, 2017
#CFCDev subs: Guehi, Beeney, Nartey, Suljic, St Clair, Colley, Gallagher, Muheim, McEachran, Taylor-Crossdale, C.Brown.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) July 15, 2017
Another 16-year-old new arrival, Billy Gilmour, meanwhile was the star of the show in the third match today for Chelsea, with an even younger age group beating Southend 5-1 at Cobham.
A very youthful #CFCDev beat Southend 5-1 with a Billy Gilmour brace leading the way. The older #CFCDev group face Crawley at 3pm.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) July 15, 2017
All in all, a good day for the Blues and that’s before we even get to the England U19s winning the UEFA European U19 Championships with no less than five Chelsea players in the squad!