Chelsea came back to earn a draw in their final pre-season game, finishing at 2-2 against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.
?Gladbach struck first inside the opening 12 minutes thanks to Alassane Plea’s excellent finish – Kepa Arrizabalaga’s pass intercepted, allowing Plea burst forward and strick low past the Spaniard to give the hosts the advantage.
The Foals doubled their lead just before half-time, as Jonas Hofmann got his name on the scoresheet. Played through by Plea, the German coolly passed it
through Arrizabalaga’s legs to help Gladbach entered the break with a 2-0 lead.
After a string of excellent saves from Yann Sommer, Chelsea finally got past the Swiss through two successful penalties. First, Tammy Abraham stepped up and rolled the ball past Sommer, before Ross Barkley sent him the wrong way with a well-hit penalty to level it up.
Starting XI: Sommer (9*); Wendt (6), Elvedi (6), Ginter (5), Lainer (6); Neuhaus (6), Strobl (6), Zakaria (7); Plea (7), Thuram (6), Hofmann (7).
Substitutes: Hermann (6), Benes (6), Bennetts (6), Embolo (6), Beyer (6), Raffael (6), Johnson (6), Cuisance (6).
STAR MAN – In a rather sloppy defensive performance, Gladbach would’ve conceded far more goals if they didn’t have Yann Sommer in goal. The Swiss shot-stopper has been at the top of his game for years, as he picked up where he left off last season in an outstanding display.
Sommer made some crucial saves throughout the game, with a few absolute stunners mixed in. His positioning and distribution were excellent as always, as the Swiss number one showed that he is ready for the new season in an excellent performance.
Key Talking Point
?Chelsea produced a wonderful display in their previous pre-season game, ?beating RB Salzburg 5-3 on Wednesday. However, things couldn’t have begun any worse at the Borussia-Park as they went behind early, with poor mistakes and sloppy defending summing up the first half.
While the defending was poor and the attacking was wasteful, the Blues somehow found their way back into the game through two penalties. Abraham and Barkley did well to keep their cool and convert, but you have to ask whether Chelsea really deserved to draw.
It wasn’t the most inspiring performance from Frank Lampard’s side, but they showed good character to fight their way back into the game. There is concern regarding the defence going into the game, but it is now time to see whether Lampard is ready for the challenge ahead.
Starting XI: Arrizabalaga (5); Emerson (6), Christensen (5), Zouma (5), Azpilicueta (6); Kovacic (6), Jorginho (6); Pulisic (6), Mount (7*), Pedro (6); Abraham (5).
Substitutes: Barkley (7), Alonso (6), Giroud (6), Kenedy (6), Kante (6).
STAR MAN – Truthfully, no one was very good for Chelsea. However, Mason Mount did put in a reasonable performance, carrying the attack well and creating a string of good chances for the forwards as he put in a decent display in Germany.
Monchengladbach get their season underway next Friday, playing SV Sandhausen in the DFB Cup first round. The Foals then kick off the ?Bundesliga season on 17 August, as they welcome ?Schalke to the Borussia-Park.
Chelsea begin their campaign at Old Trafford, as they face ?Manchester United on 11 August. The Blues then make the 1,800 mile journey to Istanbul, as they meet ?Liverpool in the Super Cup on 14 August.