Alvaro Morata made his first Chelsea appearance in a 3-2 defeat against Bayern Munich today at Singapore’s National Stadium.
The Blues fell to the Bundesliga Champions in their second of three pre-season games in the Far East, having beaten Arsenal in Beijing last weekend. Chelsea’s third and final game will take place against Inter on Saturday at the same venue that hosted 48,522 people for today’s match.
That crowd certainly experienced ‘a game of two-halves’ today. Even when considering Bayern are significantly further along their pre-season preparations than Chelsea, the Blues looked to have significantly less fitness and organisation than their opponents and conceded three goals inside thirty minutes.
Rafinha was the man to open the scoring just six minutes in with a long-range strike that hit the inside of Thibaut Courtois’ post before finding the net.
Bayern’s captain, Thomas Muller, then bagged a brace to put his side 3-0 up before the half-hour mark. His first a volley from close range, Muller doubled his tally with a fantastic solo effort to ensure the scoreline was reflective of the German side’s early dominance.
Chelsea’s defence looked unorganised and weak for much of today’s game. Andreas Christensen was given a start in the centre of Antonio Conte’s back three but he and his fellow central defenders, Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill, struggled for much of the first half especially. Wing-backs Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso also struggled to contain Bayern at times with Moses in particular resorting to fouls in order to prevent his side going further behind.
However, it was Moses and Alonso who got Chelsea back into the game on the stroke of half time, as the Nigerian’s cross found Alonso free at the back post. The Spaniard’s confident finish meant Chelsea went into the break 3-1 down.
As you’d expect from a pre-season game, the second half was dominated by many substitutions throughout, one of which was Chelsea’s new record-signing Alvaro Morata who naturally grabbed all attention.
The Spanish international was one of six players Conte introduced in the second half, with David Luiz, Fikayo Tomori, Mario Pasalic, Lewis Baker, and Eduardo all featuring. Morata held up the ball well at times and gave a decent first impression to Chelsea fans though was not handed a clear goalscoring opportunity in the 27 minutes he played.
Michy Batshuayi was able to continue his decent form though, as the Belgian poked home a late consolation for Chelsea minutes before the final whistle.
Given the poor first half showing, Chelsea can have no complaints about losing to former manager Carlo Ancelotti’s side. The players’ reaction to going so far behind can be considered a positive however, and Antonio Conte’s mood is likely to have improved slightly following a relatively strong second half performance.
Chelsea will look to improve considerably over the next couple of weeks of course, and will have the first opportunity to do so on Saturday against Inter. New signing Antonio Rüdiger is expected to feature in that match, while Morata will likely be given more of an opportunity to gel with his new team.
Conte’s men then face Arsenal again on the 6th of August in the Community Shield at Wembley.