World Football Challenge: Chelsea 2-0 Inter Milan – Match Reports, Goal Videos, Reaction

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Match reports

Official Chelsea FC Website: "Goals from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard in Pasadena made it two wins from two on the summer tour of America. Against a José Mourinho managed Inter side, we were always in control from the very start, dominating both possession and chances as we kicked off the World Football Challenge at the famous old Rose Bowl stadium, a huge crowd of 81,224 in attendance, breaking the 65,289 Chelsea in America record from Seattle on Saturday."

The LA Times: "Didier Drogba as goal scorer? Sure. Happens all the time. Drogba as peacemaker? Not so common, but it happened at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday night. Drogba as fantasist, inventor of surprising passes and superlative moves? Sure. Apparently there isn’t much the Ivory Coast international is not capable of doing on a soccer field. Tormentor of referees? User of sometimes shocking language? Yes, also true, but there are few who would claim Chelsea’s 31-year-old striker is not worth the price of admission."

Daily Telegraph: "Goals from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard – two of the players closest to Jose Mourinho – earned Chelsea victory over their former manager’s present club Inter Milan on a balmy evening in southern California. It was also a sweet moment for Carlo Ancelotti, who two matches into his reign as Chelsea manager, defeated Mourinho, who he clashed with at Milan last season."

The goals and highlights

10′ Drogba 1-0
49′ Lampard (pen) 2-0
Extended highlights (6m 50s)

Reaction (courtesy of our US correspondent Be_Champions)

My. God.

We looked amazing. Yes, it is a pre-season match. Yes, Inter is 2-3 weeks behind us.

I don’t care. We looked positively spectacular. We played, wait for it… ATTRACTIVE football. We played Jose’s Inter off the pitch in the first half.

Mind you, Jose didn’t have a full strength squad out there. Most notable absence: Maicon. I really wanted to see what he did versus Malouda and Cole.

That said, we looked great. Fluid passing, exceptional defence. I was worried that the diamond wouldn’t work well for us, make the team too narrow. Instead, we play a diamond in name only. It was flexible in attack, and smothering in defence.

I’ve come down after this game about selling Terry and Carvalho. We can’t do it. We just can’t.

Terry was great tonight. None of the issues like in the last game. He looked just that bit fitter. I think that’s always going to be a test for him – if he’s a bit out of shape, his performance will be lacking. Tonight it wasn’t.

Carvalho was also great. Part of why we smothered Inter was because no one could get past him. He reads the game in such an incredible way. Tonight he was often positioned to stop the first and the second pass. In any other team he could age gracefully, lose a step, and move to the Makelele role. In our team he can’t. I think once again that he’s the best defender in the world. I’d be sad to lose him.

Ivanovic and Alex looked good as well, just not quite as good. That doesn’t mean much really, it just means they don’t have that extra special sauce right now. Branislav looked more than serviceable as a right-back. It did expose the fact that he doesn’t have the same sort of top end speed as Bosingwa, however.

Drogba looked good. A few more games, a bit more form, and I think he’ll be a juggernaut out of the box.

Anelka looks pretty sharp, but could have finished off his chances. It will be interesting to see him in this formation.

Sturridge looked good. Better than Kalou already. He had his first real test against Inter, as their back line is nothing to sniff at. He didn’t quite have it, but only just. Tried to be a bit too tricky, but not Joe Cole on a bad day. It’s coming.

Malouda and Cole look good. They play an interesting overlap, where Malouda plays wide until he receives the ball, and then he plays to Cole and drifts inwards. This is in contrast to Essien, who plays a bit wider. They gave Inter’s right-back a torrid time.

Ancelotti is doing something right. It isn’t like our play under The Gene Hackman. Passing has purpose, defence has steel. I’m very excited for this season.

Plaudits

Obi Mikel. Man of the Match. Looks to be an upgraded version of the player last year, which is saying something. Smooth on and off the ball, and in the tackle. He’s reading the game much better, and it shows.

Lampard. Great game as usual. Can you please play only 45 min from now on?

Deco. Scary I know. He did a great job at the top of the diamond, with Frank out wide left in the second half. Gave him the opportunity to show his talents.

I think, actually, that Deco is the player Inter needs. Jose could use him, desperately. Meanwhile, he’s a nice bench player for us. He’d work extremely well in Italy, with a slightly slower paced game.

Could do better

Kalou. Not bad by any means, but he needs to be a bit sharper. Don’t get the knives out though, because he’s in the position I think he was born for – second striker. He’ll improve this season, just watch.

Mancienne. Good, but not great. Made a few mental errors.

Belletti. Has lost his recovery speed, so he makes rash tackles. Will only be good for games when we are whupping a bottom half league side.

Man of the Match

John Obi Mikel.

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