After the disappointing performances on the USA Tour, and the subsequent harsh words in public from Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea came out with much better focus, intent, and execution tonight. And while the scoreboard may not quite reflect our dominance, it was certainly a much more promising 90 minutes from the Blues than anything else we’ve seen this preseason.
In a way, we welcomed back the “should’ve been 3-0 up” (or the “who’s this goalkeeper again?”) narrative rather than the “just can’t be a*sed” narrative. Progress!
Still, the front three showed some growing understanding and the defending looked as solid as ever with Silva and Koulibaly outstanding as expected. Kanté was on fire, especially early on, and even Jorginho produced some wonderful through balls and progressive passes.
It wasn’t all gravy obviously, with Udinese able to cut through the midfield with far too much ease at time, including on the goal, and Chelsea wasting a few too many chances for our liking, but all-in-all, not too bad at all.
- Possibly our current first-choice lineup? K2-Silva-Azpi in defense, Alonso and James as wing-backs, Kanté-Jorginho midfield-two, Mount-Sterling-Havertz as a very fluid front three.
- Like-for-like (in terms of positions) subs on 70 minutes: Emerson for K2, Hudson-Odoi for James, Vale for Havertz
- Like-for-like (in terms of positions) subs on 84 minutes: Gilmour for Jorginho; Kenedy for Sterling
- Kanté, Sterling, Mount with the goals. Jorginho and Hudson-Odoi with the assists. (No assist on the Kanté goal.)
- Possible lineup for tomorrow’s closed-doors friendly: Sarr, Ampadu, Chalobah | Chilwell, Kovacic, Gallagher, Loftus-Cheek | Pulisic, Broja, Ziyech?
- Next up: season opener away at Everton next Saturday