Chelsea beat Barcelona 2-1 to win Rakuten Cup in Japan

Chelsea beat Barcelona 2-1 to win Rakuten Cup in Japan

Chelsea ended their pre-season tour of Japan in style with a win over Barcelona in Saitama on Tuesday.

It was the perfect way to bring their trip to Asia to a close after being beaten by Kawasaki Frontale last week and their performance will give Frank Lampard optimism as the new season approaches.

 


The Premier League side always looked comfortable against a Barcelona team without Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi and goals from Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley ensured they were victorious.

 

Antoine Griezmann, making his first start in a Barcelona shirt, looked lively in his 45-minute appearance.

 

He linked up well with Ousmane Dembele but will undoubtedly be looking forward to forming a devastating trio with Messi and Suarez when the competitive football begins.

 

The tempo to the game was far from that of a meaningless pre-season friendly early on.

 

Barca passed the ball at a frantic pace while Lampard’s side pressed their defence so high up the pitch that Marc-Andre ter Stegen barely had an option to pass it to.

 

Abraham was given the chance to prove his credentials for the regular No 9 shirt and looked sharp for 60 minutes.

 

The 21-year-old is looking to take up a more prominent role after spending last season at Aston Villa and he first missed a glorious chance from six yards out but responded by giving his team the lead.

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