Chelsea and FC Bayern Munchen played out the first of three International Champions Cup matches to a packed National Stadium in Singapore on Tuesday, the Bundesliga side triumphing 3-2 on the night.
Carlo Ancelotti will be the happier of the two coaches following the friendly as his team looked far more fluent than the English champions, racing into a 3-0 lead inside the opening half hour.
Barely five minutes was on the clock as Rafinha ventured forward and struck a speculative low shot from fully thirty yards that crept in at the bottom corner past the despairing dive of Thibaut Courtois.
Then five minutes later Thomas Muller volleyed in Bayern’s second after Franck Ribery had skipped around a challenge in the box and chipped in a delightful cross.
Bayern continued to look more threatening as new signing Corentin Tolisso and Renato Sanches bossed the midfield early on, with fellow new boy James also impressing as he popped up all over the pitch to link play together.
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) July 25, 2017
James should have made it three when Ribery found him in acres of space in the box, but somehow fired over the bar with just Courtois to beat. Muller then showed him how to do it, the German star advancing from halfway as Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen backed off before picking his spot and curling a delightful finish into the bottom corner for his second.
Chelsea up until this point had looked like a team that was missing their target man, Diego Costa not present after being frozen out by coach Antonio Conte. IT was clear that they were missing their abrasive frontman.
But the shellshocked Blues then finally began to come back into the match forcing a series of corners toward the end of the first half before Marcos Alonso reduced the deficit in added time, lashing in from inside the box.
The second half was a more sedate affair, although it was Bayern who continued to create the clearer chances, James going close on two more occasions with a header and a shot.
Happy for the debut!! Now it's time to keep working!! pic.twitter.com/MesbQhRqK9
— Álvaro Morata (@AlvaroMorata) July 25, 2017
Alvaro Morata then came on for his Chelsea debut around the hour mark and immediately made a difference up front, proving a handful for Mats Hummels and setting up Michy Batshuayi for Chelsea’s second goal from a corner in the 85th minute.
Antonio Conte’s side tried in vain to grab the equaliser, but the majority of the 48,522 crowd wearing blue were left disappointed as Bayern saw out the remaining time to secure the win.