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Chelsea faced Arsenal in their second Premier League clash of the season. Maurizio Sarri, speaking ahead of his first London derby as the Blues’ manager, confirmed he was looking forward to getting underway.

Chelsea scored twice in the first half as Pedro and Alvaro Morata were clever both to exploit their chances, with Arsenal struggling to score despite three massive efforts missed from a close range by Mesut Ozil, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan earlier in the period.

The Blues failed to keep their double advantage as Unai Emery‘s men bounced back with two goals in the 37th and 41st minute in a vivid first half. Lucas Torreira replaces Granit Xhaka, who ha been shown a yellow card, while Maurizio Sarri made his first two changes by putting on Hazard and Kovacic respectively for Willian and Barkley.

The Belgian star swept past Lacazette before assisting in the six-yard box Marcos Alonso, who fires home for 3-2. Chelsea earn their second win in a row, the first one at Stamford Bridge also for the newly-appointed Italian manager. Five goals were scored in a dramatic London derby.

 

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Chelsea wingers Pedro and Willian believes the 0-3 victory at John Smith’s stadium was the best way to start the new season ahead of next Premier League clash against London rivals Arsenal.

Pedro told Chelsea’s official TV juts after the game: “It has been really good, the team has been very good with the ball on the pitch, good also in finding the space. It was a very good result for us, good for the confidence.

It’s very important to be very passionate in moving the ball, to be strong with this two lines and to find the space. In the second half we played pretty well, maybe we had more space. It was important today, I think between the lines we worked very hard and very good”. 

Eden Hazard provided a clever assist for Pedro in the 80th minute: “He’s the best player here, he started very good with a long run and a pretty move. He creates a lot of chances, the pass and the goal is a good way to start the season, the best way to get confidence and be prepared during the week”.

The Belgian star came off the bench in the second half to replace Willian, who told the club’s official website: “Pedro scored a beautiful goal! It was a good performance from the beginning to the end, we were in control of the game and possessio. It’s very important to move [quickly] and change positions. This is what we did today, in front we have a good quality”.

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31-year-old winger Pedro has put the pen to paper on a new deal with Chelsea, the club have confirmed earlier this morning.

The Spaniard, who scored in the first two games of Maurizio Sarri‘s era at Stamford Bridge, told the club’s official website: “It is very good for me, I am really happy here in the club, with my team-mates, the supporters and the club in general.

It’s important for me to continue with Chelsea, I am comfortable here and want to win new titles and trophies. I want to help the team, score goals, and I repeat, I am really happy”.

 

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Chelsea winger Pedro was full of praise for his teammates following the win on penalties to Inter Milan in Nice last night. The Spaniard told ChelseaTV after the game: “The team played very well and pressed high.

I think we can improve a lot this season in this new idea of football, because it’s very difficult. When you want to press high you need more organisation to do this, but the team are very good. Today one more winning this is the best for us”. 

You need very good organization when you press really high moving the ball quickly, otherwise you leave a lot of space and is difficult to defend. Is good, it’s only two games and it’s a long time to prepare this idea very well to work for the future”.

Pedro scored also at Allianz Riviera following his goal against Perth Glory in Australia, and he did it on his 31st birthday.

He said: “I am feeling comfortable inside the pitch with teammates. Is always good for a striker to score and today was a special day for me.”

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19.05 – Antonio Rudiger and Radja Nainggolan enjoying some rest ahead of tonight’s game in Nice. They both played for AS Roma in 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons.

HEAD-TO-HEAD – Inter Milan faced Chelsea back in 2017 during the International Champions Cup, when the Nerazzurri earned a victory courtesy of goals from Jovetic and Perisic before Kondogbia’s bizarre own-goal.

19.10 – Teams are underway as Chelsea face Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup at Allianz Riviera.

CHELSEA (4 3 3) Bulka; Zappacosta, David Luiz, Ampadu, Marcos Alonso; Jorginho, Fabregas, Barkley; Pedro, Hudson-Odoi, Morata. 

INTER MILAN (4 4 2) Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Skriniar, Dalbert; Gagliardini, Emmers; Candreva, Politano, Asamoah; Icardi

1′ Huge chance for Chelsea as Ross Barkley’s effort is saved by Samir Handanovic before Pedro fails to convert the rebound.

4′ Chelsea find the lead but Alvaro Morata is flagged off-side. The Spaniard was quick to head home a cross from Cesc Fabregas from the right flank.

6′ Antonio Candreva finds Mauro Icardi, who shots from the edge of penalty area: Bulka saves.

8′ CHELSEA 1-0 INTER MILAN – Candreva loses the possession against Alvaro Morata, whose shot is deflected by Handanovic. Pedro is quick in finishing pas the Slovenia international goalkeeper. The Blues are in front thanks to the Spaniard, who scores on his birthday.

18′ The Nerazzurri close to a leveler as Mauro Icardi can’t get the ball from Antonio Candreva’s powerful cross, which goes not much wide past Bulka. The Poland goalkeeper is showing impressive confidence so far.

28′ Nice work from Hudson-Odoi who finds space for himself and fires towards Handanovic. A few minutes later a well delivered assist from the 17-year-old is denied by Milan Skriniar with a tackle.

35′ Inter Milan almost find the net with Matteo Politano, but the former Sassuolo’s winger shot goes wide from a good distance.

37′ Marcos Alonso’s curled shot goes not far from the post.

45′ Two minutes of added time. Corner for Chelsea: David Luiz tires to get the ball but Skriniar is able to avoid the header.

HALFTIME – CHELSEA 1-0 INTER MILAN


Four changes for Chelsea:

  • Caballero replacing Bulka
  • Drinkwater replacing Fabregas
  • Bakayoko replacing Barkley
  • Azpilicueta replacing Zappacosta

Change for Inter Milan:

  • Lautaro replacing Emmers

48′ CHELSEA 1-1 INTER MILAN – Mauro Icardi finds midfielder Gagliardini who fires low and beat Caballero, whose deflection is not enough to avoid the equalizer.

54′ Great build-up and possession for Inter Milan, who are growing up in confidence in the second-half. Chelsea players are trying to keep positions and balance.

60′ Hudson-Odoi seems on fire while Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez tries to beat Caballero from a close range: Ampadu’s clearance denies a good chance for the Serie A giants.

63′ Five changes for Chelsea:

  • Emerson replaces Alonso
  • Abraham replaces Morata
  • Rudiger replaces David Luiz
  • Moses replaces Pedro
  • Christensen replaces Ampadu

64′ Luciano Spalletti changes too:

  • Karamoh replaces Icardi
  • Ranocchia replaces de Vrij
  • Roric replaces Candreva

65′ Chance for Chelsea: Tammy Abraham‘s low shot is easily controlled from Samir Handanovic.

74′ Drinkwater fires a shot which goes wide. Decent effort, Chelsea pushing for a goal. Karamoh goes past a defender in style and finds the space to assist Lautaro Martinez, who can’t find the ball following a good clearance.

80′ Karamoh goes wide again, but Inter Milan are pushing hard to find the goal.

81′ Jorginho goes close to scoring his first goal with Chelsea as the Brazilian born sends a curled shot towards the far post. Samir Handanovic produces a brilliant save and denies a certain goal.

  • Eddie Salcedo replaces Politano
  • Lucas Piazon replaces Hudson-Odoi

83′ Tammy Abraham misses a massive chance to score from a close range as he receives from Emerson Palmieri but his rebound is too sloppy.

88′ Andreas Christensen needs some treatment on his right knee with two minutes left to go.

90′ Massive chance for Inter Milan as Caballero makes a fantastic save to turn away Lautaro Martinez’s volley.


FULL TIME CHELSEA 1-1 INTER MILAN 

A draw after 90′ minutes means we’ll go directly to penalties.

RANOCCHIA: penalty scored

JORGINHO: penalty scored

GAGLIARDINI: penalyy scored

DRINKWATER: penalty scored

LAUTARO: penalty scored

MOSES: penalty scored

SKRINIAR: penalty missed (Caballero saves)

ABRAHAM: penalty scored

KARAMOH: penalty scored

AZPILICUETA: penalty scored

CHELSEA 1-1 INTER MILAN (6-5 ON PENALTIES)


The Blues win from 12 yards edging out Inter Milan 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the International Champions Cup. Pedro scored on his 31st birthday his second goal of pre-season, before midfielder Gagliardini leveled well assisted by Mauro Icardi in the box. Chelsea went close to winning the game in the second half with Tammy Abraham and Jorginho.

We will follow Maurizio Sarri’s press conference live from Nice. More to follow…

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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri told journalists before the game: “I had just a bit of time for the first official game, then I think is very important to work in training more than in a match.

It’s clear that we want to play a good match, as possibile for the moment. I don’t know: we started four days ago, I hope to do the best but I don’t know what can be our best at the moment”.

KICK-OFF: 12.30PM BST

VENUE: Optus Stadium

PERTH GLORY – Reddy, Grant, Lowry, Franjic, Djulbic, Kilkenny, Keogh, Wilson, Italiano, Ferreira, Neville

Subs: Velaphi, Davidson, Chianese, Santalab, Harold, Diego Castro, Stynes, Brimmer, Scott, Mustafa, Juande, Lee

CHELSEA – Bulka; Zappacosta, Ampadu, Luiz, Alonso; Fabregas, Jorginho, Barkley; Hudson-Odoi, Morata, Pedro

Subs: Collins, Thompson, Aina, Tomori, Hector, Kalas, Emerson, Drinkwater, Palmer, Bakayoko, Pasalic, Piazon, Musonda, Abraham

5′ PERTH GLORY 0-1 CHELSEA – Winger Hudson-Odoi delivers a cross into the penalty area and Pedro scores from a close range at Blues’ first shot of the game.

30′  Two chances for the Blues as Alvaro Morata cannot get the ball, well assisted by captain Cesc Fabregas and then goalkeeper Neville saves a certain goal from Fabregas himself.

36′ David Luiz is the first booked in the game after putting down opponent Ferreira.

HT – PERTH GLORY 0-1 CHELSEA – The visitors are leading the game and controlling ball possession in a positive first half. Maurizio Sarri’s touching football has been lovely so far as Jorginho seems to be already settled in Chelsea’s midfield alongside Ross Barkley and Cesc Fabregas, who’s wearing the armband today. Massive performance from Hudson-Odor on the left flank so far.

Teams are underway. Three changes for Chelsea as Tiemoue Bakayoko, Mario Pasalic and Emerson Palmieri come on replacing respectively Marcos Alonso, Jorginho and Hudson-Odoi.

52′ Huge chance for Chelsea: Ross Barkley‘s effort is fired off the post.

57′ Cesc Fabregas close to scoring with a low and curled shot from 25-yards out. The hosts are growing up in confidence as Blues’ goalkeeper Bulka had to control a couple of balls in the second half to deny Perth Glory’s attacks. Then Ross Barkley’s shot from a close range is well-deflected by Reddy.

61′ Defender Kalas replaces Ampadu and Tammy Abraham replaces Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard was among the players who looked more comfortable in Maurizio Sarri’s system.

65′ Pasalic and Abraham are immediately involved in the game as they both miss the 2-0 goal for Chelsea. Reddy’s marvellous save on Pedro’s shot, who’s almost doubled the score for the Blues. Tammy Abraham missed out on a potential rebound, while Bakayoko, Barkley and Emerson Palmieri were all involved in Chelsea’s build-up play which led to the chance.

72′ Ola Aina and Lucas Piazon come off the bench to replace goalscorer Pedro and Italian Davide Zappacosta. Previously Ross Barkley failed to score from a close range after picking-up a deflected shot from Pasalic. The England international get past two defenders but his effort goes wide.

77′ Barkley is replaced by Charly Musonda. Perth Glory made 7 changes so far: Prados Lopez, Santalab, Davidson, Chianese, Harold, Castro and Brimmer are on the pitch.

81′ Lucas Piazon has a huge chance to double the score for Chelsea, but another low shot is well cleared by Readdy. Santalab’s effort from the edge of the penalty area is deflected. The 35-year-old is shown a yellow card a couple of minutes later.

88′ Perth Glory are pushing for a late equalizer, however Chelsea defense look comfortable in keeping the clean sheet. Maurizio Sarri still jotting down Pros and Cons in the game at Optus Stadium.

FT – PERTH GLORY 0-1 CHELSEA – First game of Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea manager ends up in victory.

More to follow…

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Marcos Alonso followed in Danny Drinkwater‘s footsteps as also the Spaniard believes everyone at Chelsea is looking to bounce-back from a disappointing Premier League season.

He told Chelsea’s official website: “Now we want to get back to the top level in the league after a not very good year, and pre-season is an important stage of that.”

Alonso was among the players which took part of Chelsea’s first day of training in Cobham after not being included in Spain squad to play the World Cup.

Also compatriot Cesc Fabregas, Alvaro Morata and Pedro Rodriguez were not selected by Julen Lopetegui, who suddenly got sacked.

 

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Chelsea winger Pedro says current Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic could be a good replacement should Antonio Conte leave the club in summer. 

The Spanish star told Cadena Ser:“We know there might be some changes, we’re awaiting. We know that he [Slavisa Jokanovic] is a great manager.

“Many names have been mentioned and he is one of them. If a new manager comes, we’ll try to work in the best way possible.”

Moreover, Pedro added he’s feeling “comfortable” at Stamford Bridge after joining Chelsea from Barcelona in 2015.

“Obviously I have a contract at Chelsea and most likely I will stay. I’m good here,” he said.

“I’m very comfortable with my team-mates and, in football terms I’m very happy for having won the Premier League and the FA Cup in three years. I’m happy because it’s always difficult to win trophies in England.

“I’m enjoying my holidays right now, getting some rest and spending time with family, and then start the new season in the best way.”

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Chelsea winger Pedro has praised Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic amid reports linking him to become the next Blues manager.

The Spaniard described the Serbian tactician as a “great manager” and expressed an interest in working with him.

“We know there might be some changes, we’re awaiting. We know that he [Slavisa Jokanovic] is a great manager,” Pedro told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

“Many names have been mentioned and he is one of them. If a new manager comes, we’ll try to work in the best way possible.”

This could be a huge tip about who could be the next manager to occupy Stamford Bridge dug-out next season.

Chelsea are yet to officially announce the departure of current manager Antonio Conte although the Italian is widely expected to leave the club after failing to guide them into the Champions League last season and falling out with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed both goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Spaniard Pedro could be included in the provisional squad for Sunday’s London clash against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian manager said, speaking at a press conference ahead of the game: “At the moment we have two players out, Luiz and Ampadu. Pedro and Courtois could be back in contention though. We have two days to check the physical condition of the players, so we will see then. But we have David Luiz and Ampadu out, certainly, but Pedro and Courtois we will look at”.

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