Chelsea’s first pre-season game in Japan against Kawasaki ended in defeat, after the Blues conceding a surprise late winner.
Sporting their new white away kit, Frank Lampard named a strong starting line-up, and as expected, made plenty of changes throughout against the reigning J-League champions.
Kurt Zouma and Mason Mount, two players who spent the campaign out on loan last season, both started for the Blues, with Michy Batshuayi getting the nod to lead the line.
The Blues had plenty of chances to take the lead throughout, however, a breakthrough unfortunately never materialised for Lampard’s side.
And with the game seemingly edging towards a stalemate, Brazilian forward Leandro Damiao powered his way into the box and fired past Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero to give the Japanese side a shock lead.
There were plenty of talking points to take away from the opening fixture in Japan, so we’ve decided to put together four findings Lampard can take from the disappointing defeat.
Azpilicueta could be an issue at RB
Cesar Azpilicueta was given lots of freedom to overlap Pedro in the first half, however, a poor final ball left him wanting. Could be a position that Lampard may need to address ahead of the new season.
Mount looking promising
Mason Mount made plenty of overlapping runs beyond the striker and looked confident on the ball. Was also willing to drop deep to get involved throughout.
Lack of goalscoring threat
Michy Batshuayi didn’t really get into enough decent positions throughout. The Belgian needed to stretch the backline if wingers are coming inside. Should be resolved with what you’d consider the ‘first choice’ front three.
First glimpse of Pulisic
Chelsea fans got their first glimpse of Christian Pulisic after he replaced Mason Mount with 25 minutes remaining. The American started on the left, showed some bright touches and was always looking for the ball – hopefully more of the same to come.