Chelsea’s pre-season continued with a 3-1 friendly win at Udinese on Friday.
Thomas Tuchel’s men were dominant in Udine and would have been a little disappointed that they only had three goals to show for their clear superiority.
The Blues will wrap up their summer preparations with a match against an Udinese XI behind closed doors on Saturday morning.
Kai Havertz was denied a fifth-minute penalty after falling under a light challenge from Filip Benkovic, before Raheem Sterling squandered a one-on-one when through on goal with Marco Silvestri.
A low cross from Reece James was cleverly flicked on by Mason Mount, who was denied at the near post by a quick-thinking Silvestri.
And Chelsea deservedly broke the deadlock midway through the first half when N’Golo Kante drove through the Udinese midfield on the counter attack before unleashing a fierce left-footed strike off the inside of the far post.
Another Blues counter saw Sterling tee up Mount, though he was again kept out by Silvestri, while Havertz was similarly denied.
Chelsea grabbed their second after Jorginho split the defence with a cool pass through to Sterling, whose initial shot was saved, but the rebound ricocheted off his knees and crossed the line.
Udinese pulled a goal back just before half-time when Roberto Pereyra’s shot was weakly pushed aside by Edouard Mendy, who didn’t cover himself in any further glory when Gerard Deulofeu’s meek rebound rolled through him and into the net.
After the break, Kante nearly secured a brace with a curling effort, but it was tipped round the post by the in-form Silvestri.
Sterling should have added Chelsea’s third when faced with an open goal after a clever cutback from Havertz, but he fluffed his lines and his back heel was blocked by a retreating defender.
The Blues’ newest forward then rattled the post from 20 yards out, while Mount missed the chance to present him with another open goal.
But Mount made amends himself in the final minute of normal time when he tapped in a cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi to wrap up the scoring.
GK: Edouard Mendy – 3/10 – Didn’t have a lot to do but certainly made a meal of everything that was thrown his way.
CB: Cesar Azpilicueta – 6/10 – Stepped out from the back with confidence.
CB: Thiago Silva – 6/10 – Rarely troubled. Recovered from a head injury in the first half.
CB: Kalidou Koulibaly – 8/10 – Looked tremendous on the left side of a back three. Defensively solid and pinged some great passes.
RM: Reece James – 5/10 – Scarcely involved, which was a shame given how proficient he usually is.
CM: Jorginho – 7/10 – Looked wily and clumsy in midfield but would occasionally pull out a cracking pass, as he did for Chelsea’s second of the evening.
CM: N’Golo Kante – 9/10 – Missed Chelsea’s tour of the US due to his vaccination status and boy do the Blues look much better with him in the team. An all-action display in which he was magnificent at both ends.
LM: Marcos Alonso – 6/10 – Got into decent attacking positions and wasn’t too wasteful.
RF: Kai Havertz – 6/10 – Not as busy as his attacking co-stars, though was more involved after the break.
LF: Mason Mount – 9/10 – Every meaningful Chelsea attack involved Mount one way or the other.
CF: Raheem Sterling – 8/10 – Scored his first Chelsea goal and made his own luck in order to grab it. Should have added to his total but was very wasteful and lacked composure or focus.
SUB: Harvey Vale (72′ for Koulibaly) – 6/10
SUB: Callum Hudson-Odoi (72′ for Havertz) – 7/10
SUB: Emerson Palmieri (72′ for James) – 5/10
SUB: Kenedy (84′ for Sterling) – N/A
SUB: Billy Gilmour (84′ for Jorginho) – N/A