Frank Lampard won his first game at Chelsea against Irish club St. Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park. This was the second pre-season game of the season after having drawn with the Bohemians a couple of days earlier. This game concludes Chelsea’s pre-season preparations in Dublin as they will proceed to Japan soon before a brief week in Cobham.
Lampard picked a Chelsea lineup with two strikers up front for the first time in a long while with Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham. The starters included academy graduates and loanees from the last season at Derby under Frank Lampard Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori.
David Luiz, Zappacosta and Emerson completed the defence in front of Caballero. Regulars Jorginho, Kovacic and Barkley played in midfield. The average formation looked somewhat like a 4-3-1-2 with Mount and Barkley alternating the attacking position.
Batshuayi and Abraham had a good outing with excellent skills and hold up play. They had some very good shots only to be denied by the superior goalkeeping of Barry Murphy. They were unfortunate not to score though. Chelsea kept knocking but it was the young Mason Mount who broke the deadlock after collecting a good assist from Kovacic.
A few minutes later Tammy Abraham won a freekick on the edge of the box. Barkley who was on the dead ball struck it well and the keeper’s fingertips kept it from going in as the ball hit the upright.
Chelsea dominated with passing and possession in the opposition half and soon had another goal to show for it when Emerson took a shot at the goal with only power letting it past the keeper who got some hand to it.
At halftime, it was 2-0 to the visitors. As expected 11 changes were made to the team and some of the other established players had some game time in the second half.
Bakayoko, who has been linked with PSG and United played in holding midfield alongside 18-year-old Billy Gilmour. Kenedy, Palmer & Pedro were given the task of setting up Olivier Giroud up front. Kenedy did well with some good movement upwards and topped it with a sumptuous ball to Giroud who volleyed it home.
The home team tried their best to get something on the other end but couldn’t produce anything fruitful against an experienced defence.
A cheap giveaway later in the game from the opposition defence found Giroud who held the ball up looking for support. Having no other options he went for goal and got his second of the game. That concluded the last significant moment of the game.
There were numerous chances in the second half that should have been slotted home but a lack of finishing touch meant that only two more were scored.
Despite all three strikers having done well the two goals scored by Giroud means he has an advantage over the other two. The team looked more solid than the game against the Bohemians.
Mount was bright and omnipresent having helped in both attack and defence. There is a good chance he might bag some minutes in cup games given the long absence of Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi.
The team will return to Cobham where Lampard will be given the task of choosing who will continue the pre-season and who will go on loan before they head to Japan to take on Kawasaki Frontale and Barcelona.