August 2018


7 August 2018

Hazard Seals Chelsea Shootout Win  (Sky Sports)

Eden HazardEden Hazard struck the winning penalty as Chelsea ended their pre-season with a shootout victory over Lyon after a goalless draw.

On a day of mooted incomings and outgoings at Chelsea, the International Champions Cup friendly marked Maurizio Sarri's first match in the Stamford Bridge dugout, with Willian named captain and Hazard back among the substitutes.

Lyon posed a greater threat during the 90 minutes, but substitutes made for a disjointed second half, with World Cup winners N'Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud among those returning to the fold.

Goalkeeper Rob Green proved the unlikely hero in the shootout that followed, saving Pape Cheikh Diop's spot-kick, which allowed Hazard to step up and score the winner.

Team news

Willian captained the side on his first pre-season start, while 18-year-old Marcin Bulka was in goal, as the starting XI from Sunday's Community Shield defeat to Manchester City were all among the substitutes.

Eden Hazard, as well as World Cup winners N'Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud, were also on the bench.

Nabil Fekir - a reported Chelsea target - was not in Lyon's squad, though former Man Utd forward Memphis Depay did start.

Lyon looked lively in the first half, with Ferland Mendy firing narrowly wide before Memphis Depay forced a good save from 18-year-old Marcin Bulka.

After a couple of Lyon penalty appeals were turned down, Chelsea's best chance of the half fell to Willian, but the Brazilian's free-kick was well saved by Anthony Lopes.

Chelsea warmed to the task after the break, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek clipping an effort against the post before Tammy Abraham headed narrowly wide.

Player ratings

Chelsea: Bulka (6), Zappacosta (6), Christensen (6), Ampadu (7), Emerson (6), Loftus-Cheek (7), Bakayoko (5), Drinkwater (5), Moses (5), Abraham (5), Willian (7)

Subs: Kante (7), Jorginho (7), Barkley (6), Hazard (6), Giroud (6), Piazon (6), Green (7), Rudiger (6), Azpilicueta (6), Cahill (6), Alonso (6)

Lyon: Lopes (6), Dubois (6), Marcelo (6), Morel (6), Mendy (7), Tousart (6), Nambiar (6), Aouar (7), Traore (6), Mariano (6), Memphis (7)

Subs: Diop (6), Terrier (6), Rafael (6), Ferri (6), Tete (6), Gouiri (N/A)

But a flurry of substitutions affected the flow of the game, with Chelsea donning a completely different XI come the 74th minute, and though Ross Barkley did go close when seeing his strike blocked from 10 yards out, the match headed for a shootout.

The sides were tied at 4-4 after eight perfect penalties, but 38-year-old Green - making his Chelsea debut - guessed correctly when keeping out Diop's effort.

Hazard, who received a rapturous applause when coming on in the second half, then took the decisive spot-kick, squeezing his attempt beyond Anthony Lopes.

Man of the match: Ethan Ampadu

The 17-year-old proved largely a cool head at the heart of Chelsea's defence, despite a couple of risky challenges, but those will certainly be ironed out as he continues his development.

The centre-back was easily Chelsea's standout player before joining the rest of the starting XI in coming off, and it will be intriguing to see whether he has done enough to force his way into Sarri's matchday squad.

What's next?

Chelsea head to Huddersfield for their Premier League opener on Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm.

The Soccerlinks Hit List