Surprising Horizons

The Joy of Travel. The Realities of New Experiences.

Month: July 2017

Chelsea v Inter Milan in Singapore

Chelsea left Singapore with durian on their face (see what I did there?) after playing two and losing two matches at the National Stadium over the past week. On Saturday night, they ended up on the wrong side of a 2:1 scoreline and looked decidedly underwhelming in the process.

Against a pretty smooth and well oiled Inter side Chelsea, like against Bayern, looked lethargic, bereft of ideas, and lacking that killer edge in attack. Conte must have read my report on the Bayern match as they looked more like a back four this time around with Cahill and David Luiz as the central pairing. Perhaps it was 3-4-3 but with the pressure on them it certainly looked more like a traditional back 4. It looked a lot stronger but when you concede two goals and look strong; looking strong doesn’t win you matches. Yo.

I won’t go into the goals too much….okay I actually will this time as there were two major talking pints to be had after the match (you see what I did there too?). Inter’s penalty was never a penalty. ¬†Jovetic’s first attempt was saved but then buried the rebound. Then. Then! In the second half, Chelsea were given a life line by one of the most sublime own goals from Kondogbia in the recorded history of football. An atomically accurate 40 yard chip over his own keeper into the net. Beautiful.

Inter saw it through to see the victory.

Stand out player for me was Inter’s number 20; Borja Valero. Aggressive, controlling in his passing, and his work-rate in central midfield was miles above any player in a Chelsea shirt. Again Chelsea didn’t impress me. Moses flatters to deceive, the positive press about Kante didn’t come to fruition for me over these two games. David Luiz is a nut job. Skillful? Absolutely, but he’s prone to just go insane and find himself in the opponent’s box on a whim (this happened) or launching himself into a tackle only to be flat on his ass and the ball (and opponent) merrily going along their way.

Last word on the pitch at the National Stadium. When are they going to sort this out? From day one, it has deteriorated badly when anything is being played on it. It looked terrible tonight; like a patchwork quilt sewed by a lunatic.

Here are the goals/highlights…WATCH IT FOR THE OWN GOAL!:

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso, Willian, Batshuayi, Morata.

Inter Milan: Padelli, D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Nagatomo; Gagliardini, Borja Valero; Perisic, Brozovic, Candreva; Jovetic

Chelsea v Bayern Munich in Singapore

European soccer friendly tournaments hosted in Asia are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you gonna git.

Thankfully for this, the first fixture of the International Champion’s Cup played at National Stadium, both teams showed up in force and with strong line-ups. Even more thankfully, the Singaporean crowd also showed up in force and with actual voices to be heard! Some passion! Having seen both the Singapore national team and international club teams play here in Singapore it’s easy to see where allegiances lie with Singaporean soccer fans. Frowny face.

Anyway both teams presented strong lineups from the kick-off.Chelsea starting XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Boga; Batshuayi. Bayern starting XI: Starke; Rafinha, Martinez, Hummels, Friedl; Sanchez, Tolisso; James, Muller, Ribery; Lewandowski

It finished Chelsea 2: 3 Bayern.

I’m not going to go through the excruciating minutiae but Bayern were up 3-0 by the twenty sixth minute and were well worth the lead. They were industrious, hard-working, fluid; probing and testing Chelsea’s very under-whelming back three. Chelsea were second to the ball and constantly on the back foot. I’ve heard a lot about Kante’ work rate but Bayern’s number 35 Renato Sanches absolutely ran the midfield. For both teams. He was everywhere and made Kante look like Ali Dia.

I was looking at Bayern admiringly. They are not a flair team on this display but their clinical passing and movement were top class. Ribery is a player where if flair is called for he will do it; if not he will do his job and do it well. Other stand outs were Hummels and Lewandowski who are just good. No debates.

Chelsea? I didn’t see much to get excited about. The back three, as I’ve said were constantly being asked questions of. Attacking? Boga was anonymous and if Batsuayi hadn’t have scored in the last minute he would have been equally as camouflaged. The fact that Alonso scored the first goal for them says it all and is Morata the answer for them? Time will tell.

Let’s see how Chelsea perform on Friday against Inter. I will be there!

Here are the highlights and goals:

Playing Golf in Singapore Without a Handicap Card

Photo taken mid-swing.

Golf. The sport where you have to remember a million things before you even move your body to start your swing. Then you must do that for every hit thereafter. Or you will suck. A lot.

Singapore has a lot of courses but the majority need a handicap card. Championship Golf, though, is one course that will allow any hacker and slicer onto their premises without any proof that you can hit a golf ball with any accuracy. At $21.50 for a round of 9 after 4:30 and $45 before 4:30 it’s pretty reasonable to head there for a late tee-off. Club rental is $22 and buggy rental is $30. You can buy a bag of 12 used balls for $12.

Championship Golf is situated in a rural part of Singapore down a country road (take me home) and it has a driving range and a nice course with a couple of challenging drives off the tee to be had. Greens are in rough shape (think sandy beaches with a hole) but, hey, it ain’t St. Andrews and you aint paying crazy green fees. And, hey, they’ve allowed you on their course and you could be a club wielding maniac. There are a couple of bars there to critically analyse your game and life over a beer after you play. Will be back. Thanks for the last golf date Nathan.

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