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Two-goal Terry catalyses Chelsea come-back


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John Terry scored twice in a fine second-half comeback as Chelsea overcame AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow.

In an exhilarating game full of goalscoring chances at both ends of the pitch, Chelsea found themselves a goal down inside 38 seconds as Wimbledon's Alan Bennett supplied the hosts with the perfect start when he out-jumped the Blues defence to head home.

And they found themselves in even deeper water when Kurt Zouma's overzealousness in trying to win the ball resulted in a spot-kick, both won and converted by Matt Tubbs - despite the best efforts of captain Mark Schwarzer.

Chelsea's best opportunity of the first half came when Nathan Ake was found in space thanks to the vision of Nemanja Matic, but the Dutch defender blazed wide to complete a frustrating opening 45 minutes for the Blues.

The West London outfit regrouped at half-time, and a number of changes - as well as a change in formation - certainly helped inspire what was looking like an unlikely turn-around.

José Mourinho's side were, prior to the interval, struggling to break down the home side's compact backline, but the added invention of Lewis Baker in midfield and the steel of Terry and Branislav Ivanovic seemed to calm Chelsea's youthful-looking side.

Baker was straight into the action as his looping header was well-fielded by the goalkeeper, before Izzy Brown - twice a goalscorer in Wednesday's mauling of Wycombe - was unfortunate to head over from Mohamed Salah's right wing cross.

Salah, who is currently fasting for Ramadan, and embroiled in rumours suggesting the Egyptian may well be called up for compulsory military service, was struggling to keep up with the blood-and-thunder pace of the game which belied its pre-season friendly status - though he did endeavour to play for the full 90 minutes.

Typically, it was Terry who handed Chelsea half a chance as he prodded in from close range from Baker's corner, but despite that lifeline the Blues were still labouring somewhat in the final third.

Their combination play finally seemed to come together with just eight minutes remaining, however, as Baker's majestic raking through-ball was eventually converted by the visibly jaded Salah.

And with 89 minutes on the clock, Terry rose the highest to convert another Baker corner to complete a terrific turn-around to earn successive pre-season wins for the Blues.

Results, of course, are of little concern to Mourinho at this stage, but the visible improvement of his side after the half-time break will be hugely satisfying for the Chelsea manager, who, on this evidence, is attempting to add a layer of swagger to his side's offensive displays.

Though this was mainly a youthful Blues squad, the likes of Baker and Brown will have caught the eye of Chelsea, and may well have catapulted themselves into the boss' plans for the season.

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