Chelsea beat Udinese XI 2-0 in friendly


A Chelsea XI made light work of a second-string Udinese side in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Saturday, securing a routine 2-0 victory.

The Blues won 3-1 on Friday in a full Dacia Arena in the first of two friendlies against Udinese, whose reserve players were no match for a Chelsea side which included a number of first team players.

Chelsea starting lineup vs Udinese XI

(3-4-2-1): Kepa; Chalobah, Ampadu, Sarr; Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Gallagher, Chilwell; Ziyech, Pulisic; Broja

With Thomas Tuchel on the sidelines, Chelsea were predictably dominant in attack but struggled early on at the back, with the youthful defensive line taking a little while to get to grips with Udinese.

Conor Gallagher and Armando Broja both had excellent chances to open the scoring, with the latter seeing an effort cleared off the line midway through the first half.

Broja would see a handful of other great chances to go waste in the first 45. The Albanian was too strong for Udinese’s reserve defence but could not make the most of his chances before being brought off at half-time.

Before we could get to the interval, however, Chelsea would take the lead as the excellent Mateo Kovacic picked out wing-back Ruben Loftus-Cheek, whose lobbed finish nestled sweetly in the back of the net.

Loftus-Cheek made the first telling contribution in the second half as he was hauled down in the box early on, allowing Hakim Ziyech to step up and fire home the ensuing penalty to put Chelsea 2-0 ahead.

The second cooling break of the game allowed Tuchel to send on Marcus Bettinelli, Kenedy and Emerson, who joined Callum Hudson-Odoi on the pitch after the Englishman replaced Broja at the break.

Billy Gilmour and Harvey Vale also came off the bench for the final 15 minutes, replacing Gallagher and Loftus-Cheek respectively. Vale moved into an attacking role, with Hudson-Odoi switching over to wing-back.

All the changes, coupled with some tiring legs, led to a lethargic end to the game which Chelsea controlled with real ease, passing the ball around and flirting with the idea of going for a third.

Tuchel will now give his whole squad two days off before they reconvene and switch their focus to their season-opener at Goodison Park against Everton on Saturday.


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