Pre-season report: Chelsea 1 Inter Milan 2


Chelsea were beaten 2-1 by Inter Milan in Singapore as Antonio Conte’s side failed to find a leveller despite dominating in the closing stages of the game.

Inter had taken the lead just before half-time through Stevan Jovetic, who scored the rebound after his penalty had been saved by Thibaut Courtois.

Ivan Perisic doubled their lead early in the second half, but the Blues came back into the game when Geoffrey Kondogbia scored a long-range own-goal.

Charly Musonda, a second-half substitute, was lively after coming on and saw a low drive saved, while Michy Batshuayi had a late goal ruled out.

There were positives to take, however, with Alvaro Morata playing over an hour and Antonio Rudiger making his first appearance in a Chelsea shirt.Antonio Conte made two changes to the side which started against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, with David Luiz coming in for Andreas Christensen and Alvaro Morata replacing Jeremie Boga. Morata, on his first Chelsea start, took up a position on the left-hand side of the front three, with Willian on the right and Michy Batshuayiplaying through the middle.

David Luiz and Morata almost combined inside the opening couple of minutes but the Brazilian’s clever ball had a fraction too much pace on it for the striker. Inter then broke at speed andCourtois produced a brilliant save to deny Antonio Candreva after his strike had deflected towards goal off the leg of David Luiz.

It was an entertaining opening to the game and Inter went close again when Roberto Gagliardini fizzed a left-footed drive just wide from outside the penalty area. Both teams were looking to play on the front foot but while the Blues had enjoyed plenty of possession inside the Inter half we had been unable to seriously test Daniele Padelli as the 15-minute park approached.

 Michy Batshuayi, who was looking to maintain his record of having scored in every pre-season game so far, looked sharp and alert, and it was the Belgian’s quick thinking which enabled him to win possession deep inside the Inter half and slip in Willian, who had got up to support his team-mate. The Brazilian did well despite being heavily outnumbered by Inter defenders but as he flicked it back to Victor Moses the Nigerian’s cross was cleared.
Cesc Fabregas’s wonderful ability to pick a pass was in evidence soon after as he hooked one forward for Batshuayi, and it was a measure of the forward’s ever-growing confidence that he took the strike first-time, only to see it sail over the bar.

A couple of chances in quick succession fell our way from Fabregas corners, with David Luiz’s header blocked before Willian’s low drive was deflected over the bar, and David Luiz was then unlucky with a long-range free-kick, his dipping effort flying past the post.

The Inter goalkeeper, Padelli, was fortunate not to put the ball in his own net as he struggled to control a simple back-pass under pressure from Batshuayi, but as the half entered added time Inter were given an opportunity to break the deadlock when they were awarded a penalty, Cesar Azpilicueta adjudged to have fouled Stevan Jovetic as they challenged for the ball.

It was Jovetic, the former Manchester City striker, who took the resulting kick, and while Courtoismade the save low down to his left, the ball rolled back into the path of the Inter man who was left with a simple tap-in.

 Inter had a goal ruled out for offside immediately after the restart and a few minutes later we passed up our best opportunity of the game so far. Fabregas’s persistence paid off as he won the ball inside the Inter box as they attempted to play their way out of trouble, and as it rolled into the feet of Batshuayi he dragged his shot the wrong side of the post.
From their next foray into the Chelsea half it was 2-0 to Inter as Ivan Perisic, who had collected a pass from Gagliardini on the overlap, drilled his strike into the bottom corner.

Antonio Rudiger was then introduced for the Blues at the expense of Marcos Alonso, with our new signing slotting in on the right of the three-man defence, Azpilicueta moving out to wing-back and Moses switching flanks.

But for Courtois, Inter would have extended their advantage when Perisic burst through and teed up Joao Mario, the keeper getting down brilliantly to thwart the substitute with his feet.

Charly Musonda was given his first minutes of the trip as Conte made a double switch with 25 minutes left to play, the Belgian and Boga coming on for Willian and Morata to support Batshuayi.
Rudiger saw a snap-shot, taken in a crowded penalty box, saved by Padelli, and with 16 minutes left on the clock our two-goal deficit was reduced in bizarre circumstances as Inter substitute Geoffrey Kondogbia attempted to play a back-pass first-time and sent the ball looping over the head of Padelli to make it 2-1.

Musonda was beginning to become a real threat and he forced Padelli into a smart save having shown brilliant foot-work to work to create space for himself.

With five minutes remaining Batshuayi thought he had equalised, only for his strike to be ruled out for offside, and in added time Rudiger went close with a couple of headers.

Chelsea (3-4-3):

Courtois; Azpilicueta (Tomori 88), David Luiz, Cahill (c) (Clarke-Salter 88); Moses(Cuevas 88), Kante (Scott 88), Fabregas (Pasalic 88), Alonso (Rudiger 53); Willian (Musonda 65), Batshuayi (Remy 88), Morata (Boga 65).

Unused subs: CaballeroEduardo, Bulka, Christensen, Baker
Scorer Kondogbia (own-goal) 74

Inter Milan (4-2-3-1): Padelli; D’Ambrosio (Ranocchia 90), Skriniar, Miranda (c) (Murillo 71), Nagatomo; Gagliardini, Borja Valero (Valietti 77); Candreva (Kondogbia 58), Brozovic (Eder 71), Perisic (Barbosa 71); Jovetic (Joao Mario 58)

Unused subs:

Handanovic, Berni, Pissardo, Ansaldi, Emmers, Vanhesuden, Rivas, Pinamonti.
Scorers Jovetic 45+1, Perisic 52

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