FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Posted on: Thu 19 Jul 2012

There were plenty of reasons for players new to the Chelsea first team to take confidence from Wednesday evening's performance in Seattle.

Marko Marin had as much cause as anyone after his lively first-half display culminated in the goal that put Chelsea back ahead after we had surrendered a two-goal lead, followed by a defence-splitter of a pass for Romelu Lukaku to make it 4-2 before the interval.

The new signing from German was in good shape having worked at Cobham prior to the formal start of pre-season training and was a threat throughout, operating from the left flank and frequently bringing the ball in-field to pass or shoot.

'I did the extra work for an injury before and the injury was okay,' he explained after the game. 'I felt good today and I think it was okay for my first match.

'Of course it was a nice feeling to score in the first game and to have an assist too, and I am happy with my performance. And playing here was not like in Europe. It was another atmosphere when we came out with the firework explosions, and it was a really nice feeling to play in this stadium.'

A starting front four of Marin, Eden Hazard, Yossi Benayoun and Romelu Lukaku can claim very little time together as an attacking unit but against the MLS side there were some promising moves on show, with the two summer signings especially showing some pace, quick feet and link-up play.

'We've trained every day and we have been doing possession games,' said Marin, 'but of course not everything is good. We have to work a lot more on these things but I think it will be good.'

There were 11 substitutions made either before or during the second half with six Chelsea Academy products given minutes as well as Josh McEachran in the first half. One was George Saville, more usually a midfielder or centre-back but asked to play left-back for the last half-hour.

'When I came to Chelsea they put me at left-back for a couple of years when I was a schoolboy,' he revealed.

Saville


'It was really good to get on the pitch, it was my first go and it was really enjoyable in a stadium like this one was with the amount of fans there.'

One moment of composed defending by the 19-year-old, winning the ball when last man back in the penalty area, stood out from his display.

'You need a couple of them in the game early on to settle your nerves and give you a bit of confidence so you can push on,' he said

'It was a good result and a good run out and I am pleased with myself and for the team, so hopefully the tour carries on well.'