Rapid Vienna 2-0 Chelsea: Sluggish start to pre-season costs the Blues in Conte's first match

The hosts opened their new stadium with a 2-0 win over English giants Chelsea.

Rapid Vienna 2-0 Chelsea: Sluggish start to pre-season costs the Blues in Conte's first match
Source: @ChelseaFC
Rapid Vienna
2 0
Rapid Vienna: Novota (Strebinger); Pavelic, Schosswendter (Dibon), M. Hofmann (Nutz), Schrammel (Entrup); Grahovac, Szanto (Sonnleitner); Schaub (Schwab), S. Hofmann (c) (Murg), Schobesberger (Auer); Joelinton (Tomi).
Chelsea: Begovic, Ivanovic, Terry (c), Djilobodji, Baba Rahman (Aina); Matic (Traore), Mikel (Chalobah), Loftus-Cheek (Oscar); Moses (Atsu), Diego Costa (Kenedy), Willian (Remy).
SCORE: 1-0, Joelinton, min. 8. 2-0, Tomi, min. 82.

Chelsea began a new era under Antonio Conte on Saturday evening but failed to kick things off with a win as they fell 2-0 to Austrian side Rapid Vienna.

Goals from Joelinton and Tomi were enough for the home side to seal victory in the first game in their new stadium, the Allianz Stadion. 

Slow start

It didn't take long for the differences between the two sides to show. Rapid had already played six pre-season games before Saturday and looked the much sharper of the two teams and Chelsea's rustiness showed as they went 1-0 down before the ten minute mark. 

An intricate move from the home side saw new signing Joelinton receive a pass after a one-two, before rounding Asmir Begovic and finishing it calmly. A classy first goal for the new stadium and an early sign of where improvement must be made for Chelsea.

Chelsea went close to an equaliser minutes later as Willian's cross was almost diverted in the back of the net but Srdjan Grahovac but it flew just wide.

The hosts looked the better of the two sides throughout and were almost 2-0 up ten minutes before the break as Louis Schaub's ball found Steffen Hofmann but the midfielder narrowly sent his shot wide.

Conte in his post-match presser. | Image credit: Rapid Vienna
Conte in his post-match presser. | Image credit: Rapid Vienna

Similar story in the second half

Chelsea continued to struggle in the second half as Rapid Vienna continued to look more dangerous going forward but just after the hour mark, Papy Djilobodji's floated cross was met by the Diego Costa. The header flew over the bar and the striker probably should've done a lot better.

More chances were fashioned as the game went on and both teams went close within a minute of each other. First, Schaub found space in the 69th minute and let rip but his low shot went just wide. Second later at the other end, Nathaniel Chalobah tried his luck from distance and forced a good save out of Richard Strebinger.

Another Chelsea substitute and academy product went close with ten minutes left, this time Ola Aina's cross-cum-shot missed everyone and rattled off the far post. The game was put to bed with eight minutes to play when a horrid mistake from Branislav Ivanovic sent Rapid away and after a great initial save from Begovic, Tomi was on hand to poke it over the line.

The loss will sting Chelsea a bit but will likely be quickly forgotten as Antonio Conte continues to move ahead with preparations this summer. A disappointing performance but with a few positives to note, such as Victor Moses, Ola Aina and Nathaniel Chalobah, Conte should get the best out of the Blues sooner rather than later. Next up for Chelsea is a friendly against RZ Pellets on Wednesday.