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: