Cahill: A stepping stone

Match winner Gary Cahill believes we are heading firmly in the right direction following our win over Liverpool in Los Angeles.

The England international headed the game’s only goal 10 minutes into his first pre-season game of the summer, meeting Cesc Fabregas’s corner with a powerful finish.

‘As soon as he played it and I saw the flight of the ball I thought I was going to get a good contact and from that distance I’d expect to score. I’m pleased to get the first goal,’ Cahill said afterwards.

Fabregas was later sent off, reducing the Blues to 10 men but we held on with a resolute defensive display, in which the back five of Asmir Begovic, Ola Aina, Cahill, John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta each played the full 90 minutes in front of a passionate Rose Bowl crowd.

‘It’s fantastic to be back. We’ve done a lot of training, fitness work and tactical work and it’s good to put it into practice,’ the 30-year-old reported. ‘It’s a great stadium, the fans have come out today and we’ve enjoyed it. It’s a stepping stone for the season.’

Cahill was also asked about life under Antonio Conte, having now worked with the Italian for a week after linking up with the squad in Austria.

‘There are some big changes, a different style and it will take time to learn,’ he said, ‘but that’s why we have pre-season. Now we move on to the next game.’

The action comes thick and fast while we are stateside, with less than three days separating this match and the next, against Real Madrid in Michigan on Saturday. That will represent another tough test but the early signs are good.