Chelsea’s pre-season started in the best possible way with a 1-0 win against Perth Glory in the Australian side’s brand-new stadium. Alvaro Morata and Pedro led the line in Maurizio Sarri’s first game as manager while Jorginho pulled on the blue shirt for the first time since his move from Napoli.
Within six minutes of the kick-off, the FA Cup winners were in front courtesy of Pedro turning home Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross. Captain for the afternoon, Cesc Fabregas, alongside Jorginho dictated the tempo of the game and allowed Chelsea to control the rest of the opening 45 minutes.
The Italian midfielder was withdrawn at half-time with 101 touches of the ball and 98 passes to his name, meaning he made a successful pass every 27.55 seconds, which certainly isn’t a bad start for a new club. Ross Barkley came on in his place and looked equally as good under the new boss.
It seemed like the game was set for the ex-Everton attacker to open his Blues account but after hitting the post just before the hour mark, he failed to keep his shot from the edge of the six-yard box on target. Fabregas was also denied by the woodwork as his strike was deflected away from the sprawling Perth Glory keeper.
It was a professional performance from Chelsea that eased them back into first-team football after a summer of no football for the involved players. Jorginho looked very good whilst Hudson-Odoi will have gone some way to implementing himself as a potential starter for Sarri. Ross Barkley also surprised Blues fans with a confident second-half performance following a slow start to life in West London. The victory did little to convince the oddsmakers of their Premier League title credentials, however, with the Blues still some way back at 13/1 to top the league with Novibet.
Next up is a trip to Nice for the Chelsea players who didn’t feature at the World Cup where they will face Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup on Saturday. This comes before a meeting with Arsenal in Dublin on the following Wednesday in the same competition.