MATCH REPORT

Short Report: Blues edged out on penalties

Here we pick out the key moments and talking points from this evening’s game with Arsenal in Dublin…

Game in Brief

Chelsea led for almost the whole match after yet another early pre-season goal, this one courtesy of Toni Rudiger.

Petr Cech saved an Alvaro Morata penalty midway through the opening half which the Blues, save for a couple of scares, dominated.

There was less fluidity and more solidity from both sides after the interval. Arsenal increased the pressure as the game wore on and despite a couple of fine late saves from sub Marcin Bulka, they levelled with virtually the last kick of the game and then won it on spot-kicks.

Zip in attack

The Blues passed the ball with great purpose in the middle and final thirds of the pitch, particularly in the opening half-hour in Dublin, something which would have delighted Maurizio Sarri. Jorginho was again impressive and he linked up well with Cesc Fabregas and Ross Barkley either side of him, with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Pedro staying wide to stretch the play.

Early starters

As in our wins against Perth Glory and Inter Milan, it was an early goal that set us on our way, one of a number of good chances we created in the opening stages.

Rudiger’s header was pinpoint and he almost replicated it at the start of the second half from another floated right-wing corner.

Star Man

17-year-old Hudson-Odoi produced another scintillating performance and on another night might have claimed upwards of three assists. Hector Bellerin of Arsenal is known to be quick, but Hudson-Odoi outpaced him and then tricked him before being fouled by the experienced full-back for the penalty. He set up plenty of other chances and had the Dublin crowd purring with his pace and skill.

Team News

Three players who featured at the World Cup came into the side with Willy Caballero selected between the posts, captain Cesar Azpilicueta starting at right-back, and Rudiger named in the heart of the back four.

Key Moments

5 GOAL – 1-0: Another early pre-season goal for the Blues arrived via the head of Rudiger, who thumped home Cesc Fabregas’s corner giving Cech in the Arsenal goal no chance.

15: Hudson-Odoi sprinted beyond Bellerin and when the Spaniard caught up with him, he cut inside and was brought tumbling to earth. Cech guessed right – to his right – to keep Morata out.

42: Cech came to Arsenal’s rescue again after Hudson-Odoi beat the offside trap. Our former keeper took the sting out of the shot but it was still heading for the net until Shkodran Mustafi headed off the line.

75: A big chance for Arsenal came and went when sub Alexandre Lacazette was slipped in but he could only place his finish wide.
84: Sub Marcin Bulka, not long on for Caballero, sprung to his right to superbly keep out Alex Iwobi’s goalbound effort.
90+3 GOAL - 1-1: Bulka made another great save to deny Lacazette this time, but from the resulting corner the Frenchman converted from close range taking the game to penalties.

Penalties: The first 10 penalties were all converted, ours by Danny Drinkwater, Tammy Abraham, Emerson, Victor Moses, Lucas Piazon, before Cech saved from Ruben Loftus-Cheek on his return to action and Iwobi won it for Arsenal.

What next?

It’s a trip to Wembley on Sunday for the Blues with Manchester City our opponents in the Community Shield.

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