Chelsea’s final pre-season game before the Community Shield on Sunday ended in a victory over reigning European champions Barcelona, as the Blues concluded their tour of North America in the capital city of Washington DC.
In an entertaining affair that went back and forth, Chelsea prevailed in a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes. Eden Hazard gave the Premier League champions the lead with a stunning solo goal, beating 5 Barcelona players and running nearly half the pitch with the ball at his feet.
— Chelsea Vines™ (@CFC_Vine) July 29, 2015
Luis Suarez levelled early in the second half with a cheeky chipped finish over Thibaut Courtois before Sandro Ramirez put the Catalans in the lead with a quality curling striker into the far corner. Chelsea found their equaliser 5 minutes from time, when Gary Cahill rose highest to head home past Jordi Masip, whose attempted punch caught the Englishman in the nose.
Thibaut Courtois was once again the hero in the end, producing a fantastic save to deny Gerard Pique after Alan Halilovic hit the bar with a chip. The Blues in turn maintained a 100% record, with Radamel Falcao, Victor Moses, Ramires and Loic Remy all converting their spot-kicks.
The victory may have been secured, but there are a couple of injury concerns for Jose Mourinho coming out of it. Cahill, who scored the late equaliser, had a bloody nose while heading home his goal. It remains to be seen whether it is broken or not, but the manager stated that the centre-half will play on Sunday against Arsenal no matter what.
“Cahill has a chance of a broken nose, maybe yes, maybe no”, he said. “If no, perfect. If yes, he will get a mask tomorrow to be ready for Sunday!”
The other worry is slightly more serious, with striker Diego Costa limping off with a hamstring problem. The Spaniard missed most of the second half of last season due to this injury, and was hauled off on the hour mark after being unable to continue. Falcao’s form is not assured, while Remy is quite injury-prone as well, and so a layoff for Costa will put Chelsea in a precarious situation.
Mourinho though, didn’t seem to be concerned about it all, stating, ‘Diego felt a little thing in his hamstring. We believe it is just a feeling, no more than that, but we have to wait.’