Chelsea defeat Liverpool in America thanks to Cahill header

Chelsea defeat Liverpool in America thanks to Cahill header
(photo: Jonathan Walsh/VAVEL)

Chelsea the victors at the Rose Bowl, Liverpool lose their first game of pre-season as the Reds are beaten by Cahill's header from a set-piece. By the looks of things, Chelsea are going to be very hard to beat under Conte. That's all folks, goodnight!

Full-time: Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool

90+2: Markovic makes a late dart into the Chelsea area, but his cross is taken by Begovic. 

90: Into two minutes of stoppage time, Azpilicueta down after being hit by the ball in a not very nice region. 

87: Ooooh, Brannagan curls an inviting free-kick into the box which Klavan eyes eagerly, but Matic just does enough to kick the ball away. 

82: Better from Liverpool as they move the ball well in the box before Milner's cross narrowly evades Ings, with Cahill in to make a good interception before being fouled. Cameron Brannagan has just come on for a 10 minute runout. 

80: Jordan Henderson looking to change things, carrying the ball through midfield before a cross-field pass towards Moreno is intercepted by Cuadrado. 

77: Kevin Stewart goes into the book for a kick up Pedro's bum, mis-timing an attempted clearance. 

75: Not much, is the answer, as it's played short to Ojo before he has a cross blocked by Batshuayi. 

74: Milner twists and turns down the right for Liverpool, drawing a foul from Pedro. What can they do from the free-kick?

In summary, Gary Cahill's early header gave Chelsea the lead in a first half where the Blues had the edge. However, Cesc Fabregas has just been sent off for a rash challenge on Klavan, so we'll rejoin our commentary with just under 20 minutes to go. 

Huge apologies for our loss of coverage from VAVEL Towers tonight folks...

Blues boss Antonio Conte was very complimentary towards today's opposition in his pre-match press conference, saying; "‘Liverpool is one of seven or eight teams that can fight to win the title. They have a good manager, they play good football with high intensity and good organisation." However, Conte will be looking for his side to strike an early mental blow today, in their quest to bring the Premier League title back to Stamford Bridge. 

Chelsea have also had their Belgian stars, Michy Batshuayi, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois return from holiday in time for the tour, and all could start today. Hazard scored against Liverpool the last time these two teams met, a 1-1 draw in the closing weeks of last season. 

Klavan, pictured playing against Liverpool last season, will make his Reds debut today (photo; Getty)
Klavan, pictured playing against Liverpool last season, will make his Reds debut today (photo; Getty)

It will be interesting to see who starts for Liverpool today, as they've welcomed back the English and Belgian contingents from Euro 2016 to pre-season training in the last week, plus Emre Can, who came back on Thursday after reaching the semi-final stage with Germany. It's set to be Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan, the latter making his debut, at the back as Joel Matip and Mamadou Sakho are both out through injury. Marko Grujic, a fan favourite following some impressive performances in recent friendlies, will be hoping to test himself on a bigger stage today. 

Liverpool have already played four friendlies, with extremely youthful squads against English teams near Merseyside. They won them all, defeating Tranmere Rovers 1-0, Fleetwood Town 5-0, Wigan Athletic 2-0 and Huddersfield Town 2-0. They also play AC Milan in America after this game, before concluding their ICC schedule back in Europe against Barcelona, with a friendly against AS Roma sandwiched in-between. There's also one final friendly, against manager Jürgen Klopp's former side Mainz, again a week before the domestic season starts. 

Neither side has played a game in America yet during their pre-season after each jetting out last week, but both have got their fixture schedule up and running elsewhere. Chelsea lost 2-0 against Rapid Wienna during a two match tour of Austria, before beating RZ Pellets 3-0 in their next game. Following today's match, they play Real Madrid and AC Milan in their two remaining ICC games, before Werder Bremen in one final friendly before the Premier League season starts. 

This game is being played at the Rose Bowl, a 92,000 capacity stadium better-known for its use as an American Football ground. The name comes based on the stadium being in a huge, fairly beautiful, bowl shape. Both teams will be hoping for a good attendance, as they look to expand their fanbase in the States. 

It's each teams' first game in this competition, but by no means the first game of the tournament across the globe this year. We've already seen Borussia Dortmund thrash Manchester United in Asia, Tottenham Hotspur slip to a defeat against Juventus in Australia, and Leicester City see off Celtic on penalties in Europe. Now, America. 

Hello everyone, and welcome to our minute-by-minute commentary of today's International Champions Cup game between Chelsea and Liverpool. I'm Oliver Emmerson, up freakishly early and ready to take you through this one, with kick-off at the Rose Bowl set for 4:35AM UK time, 8:35PM in the United States. Let's hope for a good game!