In the week when it was announced Chelsea will be heading back to Asia to take on local opposition there, we recall similar past matches from when the Blues flew east...
Chelsea will face Japanese opponents for the first time this summer when we meet reigning J.League champions Kawasaki Frontale at the International Stadium Yokohama on Friday 19 July.
The Blues previously visited the Land of the Rising Sun to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup in December 2012 but did not play against Asian opponents in that tournament as we met Mexican side Monterrey in the semi-finals and Corinthians of Brazil in the final.
On the occasions when we have taken on teams from east Asia, Chelsea have fared well, winning all but one of 17 matches over the past 25 years.
Chelsea’s only defeat against east Asian opponents came on our first visit to the region in May 1994 when Glenn Hoddle’s side lost 2-1 to a Hong Kong XI select side at Hong Kong Stadium.
Things went much better when the Blues returned three years later after winning the FA Cup and beat local champions South China 3-2 with Gianluca Vialli netting a brace and Roberto Di Matteo getting our other goal.
On our most recent visit in 2011, the Blues faced league champions Kitchee in the Barclays Asia Trophy with Frank Lampard converting a first-half penalty before an own-goal and strikes by Didier Drogba and Daniel Sturridge after the break sealed a convincing 4-0 win.
After facing South China in May 1997, Ruud Gullit’s side travelled to Bandar Seri Begawan to meet Brunei’s national team. The Blues put in a dominant performance, winning 6-0 with a brace by youngster Mark Nicholls and one each by Frank Sinclair, Gianfranco Zola, Dan Petrescu and Vialli.
The final stop on the 1997 post-season tour took us to Bangkok, where Chelsea met the Thai national team at Supachalasai Stadium and won 1-0 with Dan Petrescu getting the first-half winner.
We returned in 2011 and put on a strong display at Rajamangala Stadium, winning 4-0 with goals by Lampard, Jose Bosingwa, Branislav Ivanovic and Florent Malouda.
The Blues’ last two visits to the Thai capital have both ended in 1-0 wins; a Romelu Lukaku penalty securing victory against the Singha All Star XI in July 2013 and Dominic Solanke getting the only goal against the Thailand All-Stars in May 2015.
Like Thailand, Malaysia has also hosted the Blues on four occasions with the first match in the Premier League Asia Trophy in 2003 when the Blues took the lead through Frank Lampard and pulled away in the second half with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Glen Johnson scoring in a 4-1 triumph.
Goals by Nicolas Anelka and Ashley Cole saw off a Malaysia Select XI 2-0 in 2008 while Didier Drogba struck a late winner in a 1-0 victory in front of a crowd of nearly 85,000 in 2011.
Our most recent visit in July 2013 produced a comprehensive 4-1 victory with Bertrand Traore, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Victor Moses on target for Chelsea.
Chelsea have met K League side Suwon Bluewings twice, with the first meeting at Suwon World Cup Stadium in May 2005 ending 1-0 in our favour. Two years later, the teams met again in pre-season in Los Angeles with Didier Drogba getting the only goal 10 minutes from time.
Our only matches against Chinese clubs took place on our 2008 pre-season tour with Luiz Filipe Scolari’s side winning both games easily. We downed Guangzhou Pharmaceutical 4-0 with goals by Salomon Kalou, Lampard, Franco Di Santo and Shaun Wright-Phillips and thrashed Chengdu Blades 7-0 in Macau with Joe Cole netting twice and Anelka, Kalou, Lampard, Di Santo and Wright-Phillips also getting on the scoresheet.
Chelsea’s biggest victory to date against an Asian club came on our 2013 visit to Indonesia when we ran out 8-1 winners against the BNI All-Stars in Jakarta. Ramires and Lukaku each notched a brace and Eden Hazard, Demba Ba, John Terry and Bertrand Traore scored in front of more than 80,000 fans at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.