Monday 05 August 2013
Chelsea will face Real Madrid in the final of the Guinness International Champions Cup after overcoming AC Milan 2-0 in New Jersey.
"Fernando Torres today was fantastic – he is not fit but his attitude was amazing"
A well-taken goal by Kevin De Bruyne midway through the first half put Jose Mourinho's side in charge before Andre Schurrle put the game beyond doubt with a late strike, as the Blues maintained their 100% pre-season record.
De Bruyne applied a clinical finish after being set up by Eden Hazard, and although Chelsea passed up several chances to extend their lead Schurrle provided the second in the 90th minute with a smart volley to set up an encounter with Carlo Ancelotti's side in Miami on Wednesday.
"Mario Balotelli is very fast with El Shaarawy, so it was a good experience for us," Mourinho told the club's website. "From a tactical point of view they gave us something to work on, a different kind of problem, and Real Madrid will be different too. We need this to arrive the best we can at the Hull City match. [In pre-season] we have five victories but zero points, and we need points.
"Tonight we played 4-2-1-3, only with two midfield players, Marco van Ginkel and Michael Essien and we finished with Mikel and Ramires. We have very creative players to play around the striker. All of them are fast, creative, young, [there are] many options. Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Victor Moses, De Bruyne, lots of options and quality.
"Sometimes the striker does a great job for the team and cannot go to the scoresheet. Fernando Torres today was fantastic and he has five days of training after the Confederations Cup. He is not fit but his attitude was amazing. I have to praise my strikers because they are working for the team."
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba scored twice late on as Galatasaray came from behind to beat Arsenal and lift the Emirates Cup.
"It's a long time since I've seen two such different halves"
The Gunners appeared on course for victory thanks to Theo Walcott's opening goal but after Ignais Miguel was adjudged to have bundled over the Drogba with 12 minutes to go, the Ivorian levelled from the penalty spot.
Drogba then settled the contest three minutes from time with a wonderful strike despatched after he had controlled Wesley Sneijder's long ball into the area with one touch.
The defeat represented a huge turnaround for the hosts, who drew 2-2 with Napoli on Saturday, and began so brightly they might have taken the lead inside the opening minute when summer signing Yaya Sanogo was put through by Santi Cazorla only to be denied by Fernando Muslera. Sanogo was denied later in the half, while substitute Olivier Giroud was also twice thwarted by Muslera after the interval.
"We had a contrasting performance," Arsene Wenger told the club's website. "In the first half we had a good performance, we were in control, they didn't look dangerous, and we were not capable of maintaining physically that pace and that rhythm.
"In the second half we dropped. It's a long time since I've seen two such different halves. Then I believe we were not capable of keeping the ball and we were punished. But it's a good preparation for us."
Aston Villa outclassed Shamrock Rovers as they completed their third victory of pre-season at the Tallaght Stadium.
"We are getting there – we have one more week to go now"
Christian Benteke had tweeted earlier in the week 'To Be Continued' in relation to his budding strike partnership with Andreas Weimann, and both players were on target again as Weimann produced a cool finish after 15 minutes and Benteke bravely headed in on the half-hour mark.
For manager Paul Lambert, the return from injury of Aleksandar Tonev and Jores Okore was the greatest outcome of all.
"The most important thing, which I have said from day one, is no injuries," Lambert told the club's website. "It's another game under our belt, another clean sheet and another win. We have one more to go which will be another test. But this is another game under our belt.
"Alex and Jores have been out for a month so for them to get 45 minutes is important. Yes, the two goals were excellent. But the most important thing for me was the injury situation. It was a game we looked pretty comfortable in. It's another victory. We are getting there. We have one more week to go now."
Jonathan Walters made an immediate impact against his former side as Stoke secured their third successive pre-season victory at the Racecourse Ground.
"You could sense the supporters were pleased with what we were trying to do"
The Republic of Ireland international volleyed in the winning goal for visitors just minutes after being introduced from the bench during the half-time interval.
Though margin of victory might have been greater as Mark Hughes' side passed up several goalscoring opportunities, the Welshman was pleased with the performance.
"We are a work in progress in many aspects but that said I think the players have taken giant strides in such a short space of time," Hughes told the club's website. "The week coming up is a big week for us and one that I am really looking forward to. There are areas that we have to improve upon and we will be looking to work on them over the next seven days.
"You could sense that the supporters were pleased with what we were trying to do out there and they really seemed to appreciate the good passages of play that we produced."