Frank Lampard suffered his first defeat as Chelsea manager against J-League Champions Kawasaki Frontale. The third pre-season fixture, branded as the J-League World Challenge was played at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama.
Lampard picked a strong starting lineup in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Chelsea dominated in both possession and play in the first half but had nothing to show for it.
Batshuayi was impressive upfront and makes a serious case to stay at the club. Mount had some good moments and the youngster seems to have won Lampard’s trust. Kovacic and Jorginho make a good pair in holding midfield and it’ll be difficult for Kante to get game time at the beginning given he hasn’t recovered from a knock weeks ago.
Despite having chances that could have been put away, the scoreline remained 0-0 at halftime.
A bunch of substitutions were made in the second half with Christian Pulisic handed his Chelsea debut. He looked solid and pacy.
Kenedy put in an acrobatic but it was not close enough to the goal. Kawasaki threatened a lot more in the second half but Chelsea’s solid defence helped keep them out. The heat and tiredness was a major reason for the team to lose their focus but it was some sloppy marking from Emerson that let Leandro Damião score a free header at the far post from a corner.
With little time left the blues couldn’t do much as they suffered the first loss of the season. Kawasaki were consistent and it paid them off.
Chelsea next take on Barcelona at the Saitama Stadium on 23 July.