Mason Mount and Ross Barkley were on fire as Chelsea won a seven-goal thriller at the Madejski Stadium.
Lampard’s team played their first preseason game on home soil when they visited the Royals on 28 July 2019. The team chosen for the first half consisted more of fringe players than regulars. It took them a while to get going as they responded to good attacks from Reading.
But it was the home side that went ahead when Chelsea’s high press left the defence scrambling for help as Josh Barrett clipped over Willy Caballero of the rebound of his first shot. He was fortunate to receive the ball again but the finish was excellent.
The goal kicked the team into life as some slick movement in the attacking third by Giroud won Chelsea a free-kick. Barkley took responsibility and scored an absolutely incredible goal. No keeper was ever gonna stop it. He has always had a knack for free kicks and he keeps proving it time and again. This will help the team moving forward.
He further impressed when he set up Kenedy inside the penalty area whose shot was slightly wide due to a deflection. Nevertheless, he scored a few minutes later when Alonso’s pass found him in the middle of the park with no one closing in on him. His shot had enough power to beat Joao Virginia as it swirled away from him.
Both sides had enough opportunities at both ends but nothing else materialised in the first half. Ten changes were made to the team at the start of the second half with only Caballero retaining his place.
Both sides were rejuvenated and showed a lot more attacking intent. Reading showed their strength from corners and equalised soon after the break when Mark Morrison tapped in at the far post with no one marking him.
Both teams had an attempt each hit the frame of the goal. David Luiz impressed when he controlled a poor clearance to turn and shoot with his weaker left foot.
Soon Chelsea found their feet when Tammy Abraham tried to find the run of Mason Mount but the pass was cut off. But Mount recovered the ball and took a side step to shoot at goal. His shot blasted past former Chelsea keeper Sam Walker who got his hands to it but couldn’t keep it out.
Very soon Chelsea’s high pressing forced Walker to give the ball away cheaply when his attempted pass found Michy Batshuayi who made it easy for Mount to score the fourth Chelsea goal with a simple tap-in.
With the team 4-2 up Lampard subbed Jamie Cumming on for Caballero at the hour mark. Since then both teams had a lot more chances but only one goal came when Sam Baldock finished a cheap giveaway by Kovacic.
Both teams showed a lot in attack but it was their defence that failed them. A high scoring thriller is entertaining but it doesn’t help the defence in confidence. Chelsea’s defence could do a lot better than this but it’s still too early to expect a clean sheet week in week out.
Barkley and Mount were standout performers and Lampard will have a selection headache to fit them both in the same team.
Chelsea next play RB Salzburg on 31 July 2019 away from home. They have one more pre-season fixture against Borussia Monchengladbach before the Premier League starts.