Chelsea win 1-0 in Sarri’s first game

Chelsea win 1-0 in Sarri’s first game
Pedro scored the first goal in the Maurizio Sarri era inside the opening five minutes of the friendly in Perth on Monday.
Perth, Jul 23 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/24/2018 12:45:08 AM IST
Maurizio Sarri’s first game in charge of Chelsea ended in victory as his new side beat Perth Glory 1-0 at the Optus Stadium on Monday.
Pedro scored the only goal of the game with a well-taken early strike after good approach play by the lively Callum Hudson-Odoi.
However, a raft of second-half changes by Sarri led to a disjointed match, although the Italian will still be delighted to have made a winning start to life as Chelsea’s new head coach.
It took the Premier League side just five minutes to break the deadlock in Western Australia after Hudson-Odoi’s quick feet earned himself space down the left flank.
The 17-year-old then picked out a perfect pull back from which Pedro side-footed home from eight yards for the club’s first goal of pre-season.
In truth, the contest in front of 55,500 people in Perth largely resembled a low-key practice match at times, such was the disparity between the two teams, with the hosts’ season still two months away from starting.
Sarri will have still learned much from watching his players in action for the first time, with only three - captain Cesc Fabregas, young goalkeeper Marcin Bulka and the returning David Luiz - staying on for the whole 90 minutes.
One man who did impress in the driving rain was recent new £57m signing Jorginho, with the Italy international controlling proceedings from his station in central midfield before being substituted at half-time.
Chelsea could have added further goals after the break, only for Ross Barkley - impressing in a more forward position in the second half - to hit the post seven minutes into the second period.
All in all, though, Sarri - who set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation - will have taken plenty of positives from his first outing in the Chelsea dugout as he prepares for the start of the new Premier League campaign.
Chelsea will now take on Serie A side Inter Milan in Nice in the International Champions Cup on July 28.
Manchester united held in California
Alexis Sanchez failed to inspire a flat Manchester United as they were held to a 0-0 draw by San Jose Earthquakes in a friendly in California.
Sanchez returned to the side after he had joined up with the squad in the U.S. after issues over his visa had been resolved, and the Chile international came close in the first half from a free-kick.
Just after Antonia Valencia was forced off with an early injury, Eric Bailly should have opened the scoring, but headed against the crossbar from point-blank range. Otherwise, United chances were few and far between.
San Jose, in fact, had the better of the chances in the second half as Jose Mourinho gave some youngsters minutes. With better opposition to come in the form of AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid in pre-season, United will have to improve a great deal to set themselves up for the coming Premier League campaign.
After the break, San Jose changed their entire XI, with United also ringing the changes, and that did not help the flow of the game.
Replacement United goalkeeper Lee Grant was by far the busier stopper, with the pick of his saves denying San Jose veteran Chris Wondolowski from just inside the box.
Scott McTominay did have a decent opportunity to snatch an undeserved victory for United late on, but his header was tame and saved easily.

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