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Super-sub Schurrle strikes as Blues cruise past Milan


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Chelsea beat Milan and will face Real Madrid in the final


The Blues travelled to New Jersey and played against AC Milan at the Metlife stadium in front of nearly 40,000 fans - and they weren’t disappointed by the busy match. The team, led by manager José Mourinho, won 2-0 with Kevin de Bruyne scoring the opener and André Schürrle scoring his first goal in Chelsea blue late in the game. Mourinho's side will now face Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup final, next Wednesday. The match will feature Mourinho and Carlo Ancelloti against their old teams and will probably be the most challenging meeting in Chelsea’s pre-season campaign.

After playing a number of Asian "all-star" teams, the Blues weren't intimidated by the superior quality of the Italian side, and pressed the opposition throughout the whole match. From the very beginning the London club peppered Abbiati’s goal and the first chance was a screamer by Oscar that wide. The Brazilian had yet another chance later, but it was also off target.

Four minutes in, Ivanovic had a great chance. Hazard received the ball out wide and his mazey dribble allowed space for an inventive flick by the Serbian defender, but the Italian goalkeeper was smartly down to his right to save it. Just six minutes later the Serbian had yet another chance - this time with a header - but the ball dropped a foot wide. Meanwhile Milan tried to counter-attack, but Chelsea’s pivot and defence had little difficulty in stopping their attempts.

As the clock hit the 20th minute, Marco van Ginkel tried his luck from range, and whilst his partly-smothered shot fell neatly into the path of Demba Ba, the Senegalese was deemed to be offside. It was not until the half-hour mark that Milan finally offered some danger to the Blues, but Cech was there to stop the initial effort with Ivanovic clearing the stray ball; denying the onrushing Mario Balotelli

Mere moments later, Kevin de Bruyne gave the advantage to the English team. Marco van Ginkel recovered the ball and passed to Oscar, who passed to Hazard with one touch. The Belgian sprinted towards the Italian goal, finding his countryman entering the box in the right side. De Bruyne shot with class, leaving Abbiati motionless as the ball nestled in the bottom corner. 1-0.

After the goal the Stamford Bridge side controlled the even match more. Hazard, Oscar and de Bruyne were in charge of most of the actions, distributing the ball and keeping possession. Milan didn't react although they tried. The double pivot of Essien and van Ginkel stopped any attempt by the Italians, who just couldn’t make the ball reach the dangerous duo of El Shaarawy and Balottelli. Although the Blues led by only a solitary goal, they were never dangerously threatened by the opposition during the first half.

As in all matches so far this pre-season, Mourinho made a lot of changes as the team came back for the final half. Schwarzer, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mata, Moses and Torres came in, but of all the replacements it was Victor Moses, the Nigerian international, who added something else to the match. Moving forward constantly Moses had a few chances, passing to his teammates on a few occasions and finishing by his own in others. In one of his attempts he dribbled past the opposition and even though he didn’t have much of an angle, he shot against the Italian goal, leading Torres to complain as he waited for the pass near the penalty mark.

In one bizarre play, Torres tripped on the ball, falling down, but he immediately recovered, standing up and passing by the player marking him, and then another and another as he entered the box. About to pass by the fifth opponent he tried the assist, but Milan’s defenders were able to clear the danger. The Spanish turned provider for his colleagues a few times more, but never found himself in the position to finish to the goal.

By the middle of the second half Milan blitzed Chelsea’s box and the Italian side tried to hit Schwarzer's goal several times in a row, but Chelsea’s defence was well-drilled and protected their goalkeeper. Standing almost as a wall, they didn’t allow the ball to pass by them. The Londoners were under pressure for a few minutes, as Milan tried their best shots, but the Blues resisted firmly and without exposing themselves they finally remedied the situation, resuming control of the match.

André Schürrle came in for Hazard at the 68th minute and the international German had two clear chances of goal. First he was assisted by the man of the match Moses, but his shot was wide. A few minutes later, he received the ball in the middle of the box from Torres, but he finished weakly and poorly, without offering any real danger to Abbiati. But the wasted chances didn’t bring him down and he kept presenting himself to his comrades until he finally received yet another assist by Moses, finishing it beautifully in the goal already during extra time. They say the third time is the charm.

And there wasn’t time for anything else as Chelsea secured their place in the International Champions Cup final against Real Madrid. The match is scheduled at 2:00am (UK time) on the Thursday.

Match facts

AC Milan: Abbiati, Antonini (Zaccardo 45’) Zapata (Poli 68’), Silvestre, Emanuelson (Constant 68’), De Jong, Muntari, Montolivo (Nocerino 55’), Boateng (Pacifico 75’), Balotelli (Pentagna 45’), El-Shaarawy (Niang 55’).

Manager: Massimiliano Allegri.

Booked: Antonini, Silvestre.

Chelsea: Cech (Schwarzer 45’); Azpilicueta (Terry 45’), Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand (Cole 45’); Van Ginkel (Mikel 65’), Essien (Ramires 45’); De Bruyne (Moses 45’), Oscar (Mata 45’), Hazard (Schurrle 65’); Ba (Torres 45’, Lukaku 85’).

Manager: José Mourinho

Booked: Ivanovic.

Goals: De Bruyne 29'. Schurrle 90+2'

Man of the match: Victor Moses

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