Chelsea won their final known pre-season game 2-0 behind closed doors against Udinese in Italy on Saturday morning.
Thomas Tuchel’s side started the game in the ascendancy, putting the pressure on Udinese and creating multiple chances.
Armando Broja failed to capitalise on a huge opportunity to give the Blues the lead as the sides edged closer to a goalless first half.
In the 45th minute though Ruben Loftus-Cheek broke the deadlock, a wonderful pass from Mateo Kovacic found the Englishmen who deftly dinked his effort over Daniele Padelli.
Chelsea continued their control in the second half, just ten minutes in, Loftus-Cheek was brought down in the box after a clever move and Hakim Ziyech fired home from the penalty spot.
The rest of the game was largely dominated by the visitors and although they did not find another goal, the victory was never in doubt.
Here are the things Absolute Chelsea learned from the pre-season fixture.
1) Ruben Loftus-Cheek can provide cover for the wing-back slot
The Lewisham born man turned in a performance of the highest quality.
This was the 26-year-olds first opportunity to impress Tuchel in pre-season after he did not join the side on the United States tour. He both opened the scoring and won the penalty for the Blues’ other goal of the game.
Previously, he has been tested in that role and he impressed in it again today. With no wing-back signing made by Chelsea so far this summer, he can be a valuable option in that role.
2) Evidently a training game
While Chelsea put in a good display against the Italian outfit, there were some loose touches and sloppy mistakes, the Blues also need to be aware of being caught on the counter.
This is of course to be expected, especially considering some of these players have had little involvement in pre-season.
The match certainly had a slower feel to it and although Udinese put up a good fight, the west London outfit were able to control the game at their own pace.
3) The midfield is the strongest part of the team
Chelsea were dominant in the middle of the park and largely took control of this game, Kovacic was superb.
The Croatian picked out a delightful pass to find Loftus-Cheek to give the Blues the lead. Conor Gallagher played a positive role as well and was unfortunate not to get a goal to his name.
Following both Kante and Jorginho impressing in Friday night’s game against Udinese, the midfield is looking in good shape heading into the new season.
The lack of priority in the transfer window to add to the midfield further demonstrates the strength Tuchel believes he has in this area of the pitch.