Sarri off to Winning Start at Chelsea

Maurizio Sarri began his Chelsea reign with a win as the Blues edged Perth Glory 1-0 in a friendly on Monday.

Though playing without their World Cup stars in front of a sell-out crowd of 60 000 at the new Perth Stadium, Chelsea were still far too good for the home side.

The Blues deservedly took the lead in the fifth minute through Pedro, and totally dominated the match for the most part.

Sarri, who replaced countryman Antonio Conte less than a week ago, would have been delighted with the brilliance of youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi, as the 17-year-old set up the only goal of the match.

The teenager’s pace and skill was on display as he broke down the wing and produced a superb left-foot cross for Pedro, who slotted it inside the far post with a crisp volley that proved to be the winner.

High-profile new signing Jorginho was also impressive in the midfield in the first half, in a promising start to his time with the Blues as he combined beautifully with Cesc Fabregas.

Glory, – themselves playing their first game under new manager Tony Popovic – were under siege for long periods of the game and Chelsea hit the upright three times in 10 minutes in the second half.

Perth goalkeeper Liam Reddy was the busiest man on the field for much of the night, making some fine saves and watching hopefully as other Chelsea shots sailed just wide of his goal.

Slippery conditions due to heavy rain before and during the match did not help either side. Chelsea’s last touch was just slightly lacking, which in part explains the low score.

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