Chelsea tasted defeat in their opening friendly of pre-season. They traveled Vienna, Austria to take on Rapid Wien and help open the brand new Allianz Stadium. A goal in each half was enough for the Austrian club to defeat the Blues this past Saturday.
Antonio Conte’s first starting XI as manager, albeit in a friendly and without a few members of the normal eleven, saw a strong side being put to the test. Papy Djilobodji partnered John Terry in the center of the defense flanked by Branislav Ivanovic and Baba Rahmen on either side. John-Obi Mikel and Nemanja Matic patrolled the middle of the pitch with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Victor Moses, Willian, and Diego Costa the men in attack.
‘I don’t like to lose’
Following the match, Conte knew that the 90 minutes were going to be very difficult. He said that, “… I knew it would be difficult three days of double training.” Conte added that the sessions were hard, both physically and mentally, as the Blues got back into the swing of things.
However, the Italian manager was pleased overall with the proceedings saying, “I think the game was very important because we can learn a lot from it.” The Blues did fight hard throughout the entire night but something was lacking in the final third of the pitch. Perhaps the lack of creativity was because of the absence of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas. When those two are not on the pitch, the flow suffers.
Conte added, “We’ll work very hard because we want to come back and compete for the title until the end of the season.”
Blues add Kante
Before the match against Rapid Wein, Chelsea added former Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante to the squad. Conte had nothing but praise for the Frenchman. “He has good technique, fantastic stamina and I like this type of player."
Chelsea continue pre-season
Chelsea will hope that they can get a win in their next match on Wednesday night. There, they will play Wolfsberger AC at the Wörthersee Stadion with kickoff scheduled for 19:00 GMT.