Chelsea continued its 2018/19 preseason tour by drawing its second game in Nice tonight. Penalties were ultimately needed to decide the winner, as is customary in ICC ties, Chelsea winning them by 5 goals to 4. Yahoo! While we’re still at an early stage of Maurizio Sarri’s tenure, there were once again several promising and exciting signs of what’s still to come in this new era. Here are some initial reflections from Chelsea’s second game of the season:
- Caballero the penalty hero yet again. Jorginho and Moses’ penalties were true beauties!
- The game started quite excellently with some tidy passages of passing and some good chances, most notably a headed goal by Alvaro Morata, which was rightfully ruled out for offside, and the opening goal scored by Pedro.
- As against Perth, Chelsea’s constant application of pressure when not in possession is well and truly wonderful to see as Inter struggled to cope with the Blues’ pressing in the opening stages. The Italians did gradually grow into the game, however, and Chelsea’s pressure and composure deteriorated in the second 45 minutes.
- The second half saw several changes and, unfortunately, one of the new faces was the source of a quick Inter goal after kick-off as Bakayoko misplaced a pass which ended with Gagliardini slotting past Caballero. The Frenchman was sloppy on several other occasions and won’t have done his chances of staying at Stamford Bridge any good.
- Andreas Christensen appears to have picked up an injury near the end of the game which didn’t look good, unfortunately.
- Jorginho really is the heart of this new system and truly wonderful to watch; without him, we lose quite a bit of structure and composure in the middle of the field. His way of taking a penalty will definitely give me a heart attack at some point, though.
- Ross Barkley is steadily improving and looked sharp before being taken off at half time. Hudson-Odoi wasn’t as flashy as he was in Australia but the academy product was very lively and once again showed several glimpses of his class. Promising!
- Shout out to Marcin Bulka who showed some promising signs and won’t have done his chances of staking a claim for a back up role any harm.
- Alvaro Morata put in a better display than against Perth, which is encouraging. His persistence was ultimately the reason why Chelsea got their sole goal. That having been said, the Spaniard was willing but otherwise quiet. At least there was a slight improvement.
- Finally, I’m loving this new away kit! Chelsea’s yellow jersey really is an eye-catcher and it looks even better in action!
Chelsea’s next game in this year’s ICC tournament comes in form of Premier League opposition as the Blues will take on north London rivals Arsenal in Dublin next Wednesday.
Let’s hope Sarri and the team can achieve a better result in Ireland.
Come on, Chelsea!