After the disappointing performances on the US tour and the ensuing harsh words in public from Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea came out with much better focus, intention and execution tonight. And while the scoreboard may not quite reflect our dominance, the Blues’ 90 minutes were certainly far more promising than anything we’ve seen this pre-season.
In a way, we welcomed back the “should have been 3-0” narrative (or the “who’s that goalie again?”) rather than the “just can’t be a*sed” narrative. . Progress!
Still, the front three showed growing understanding and the defense looked as solid as ever with Silva and Koulibaly outstanding as expected. Kanté was on fire, especially early on, and even Jorginho produced some wonderful balls and progressive passes.
It was obviously not easy, with Udinese able to break through the midfield with far too much ease at the same time, including on goal, and Chelsea losing a few too many chances for our taste, but in the overall, not too bad at all.
- Maybe our current top pick range? K2-Silva-Azpi in defense, Alonso and James as wingers, Kanté-Jorginho midfield two, Mount-Sterling-Havertz as very fluid forward three.
- Identical substitutes (in terms of positions) over 70 minutes: Emerson for K2, Hudson-Odoi for James, Vale for Havertz
- Identical substitutions (in terms of positions) in the 84th minute: Gilmour for Jorginho; Kenedy for the British pound
- Kanté, Sterling, Mont on goal. Jorginho and Hudson-Odoi with the assists. (No assist on Kanté’s goal.)
- Possible line-up for tomorrow’s behind-closed-doors friendly match: Sarr, Ampadu, Chalobah | Chilwell, Kovacic, Gallagher, Loftus-Cheek | Pulisic, Broja, Ziyech?
- Next step: season opening at Everton next Saturday