Chelsea round off their club friendlies with a match against Udinese in Italy last night which ended 1-3 in favour of Chelsea
Kalidou Koulibaly had a first start in royal Blue on familiar stomping grounds for the lone shining light in the drubbing against their noisy North London neighbours. The ‘other’ Senegalese giant was heralded for his last ditch blocks and defensive awareness in that fixture, and it was more of the same here including a world-class tackle while sweeping up a counter-attack in the first half. Oozes confidence and authority on the ball and, on the very early evidence at least, seems a natural fit for the fabled number 26 shirt.
The Blues turned in a much better performance than the damning 4-0 beating at the hands of London rivals Arsenal, with the tight scoreline belying their dominance but not their sheer wastefulness in the final third.
The World Champions gradually turned the screw in the first period, punctuated by a fizzing low drive from the rather unlikely source of N’Golo Kanté in the 20th minute. Raheem Sterling piled on the misery with his first Chelsea goal just 17 minutes later, yet time remained for former Watford man Gerard Deulofeu to scramble home a rebound and keep Thomas Tuchel’s men honest on the stroke of half-time.
Thomas Tuchel on Kalidou Koulibaly:
“He deserves [praise]. A very, very good signing. A strong personality, a strong player and happy that he could play 70 minutes now. He’s getting fitter and fitter which is very important for us for the start of the season.”
FT: Udinese 1-3 Chelsea; Full match highlights, goals and best brilliant save in football history
Thomas Tuchel hasn’t had an ideal pre-season with his squad due to the early start to the Premier League season.
Because of that, his side seem a bit underprepared when you compare them with the other big English clubs.
However, before Chelsea fly back to London, they will off against Udinese once again.
Chelsea came out 3-1 victors against Udinese in their final match of pre-season thanks to goals from N’Golo Kante, Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount.
Kante opened the scoring for Chelsea, with a fine on his weaker foot from the outside of the box before Sterling netted his fist in blue, with a fortunate finish.
Udinese halved the deficit before half time, with a finish from former Everton forward Gerard Deulofeu.
In the dying moments of the game, Mason Mount scored from close range following great work from substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Thomas Tuchel’s side started strong in the first half. Eventually, their efforts were rewarded with a goal. N’Golo Kante’s super strike gave the Blues the lead.
With eight minutes to go in the half, Raheem Sterling opened his Chelsea account. However, on the stroke of half time, Gerard Deulofeu pulled a goal back for Udinese.
In the second half, it was clear that some of the players were suffering from tiredness towards the end, but on the stroke of full-time, Callum Hudson-Odoi’s wicked cross found Mason Mount for Chelsea’s third.