Chelsea’s second game of pre-season brought a second victory, and this time a more comfortable margin for Jose Mourinho’s men.
A late kick-off saw Chelsea race into an early lead when youngster Bertrand Traore slotted home inside six minutes, and Kevin De Bruyne doubled the lead on the half-hour with a powerful finish. The Belgian did however hurt himself in the process, but it is hoped his injury is less serious than first feared.
Romelu Lukaku added a third from a well-worked team move just before the break, and that looked to be it until Victor Moses made it four on 88 minutes, just leaving time for the Malaysia XI to reply with a late goal of their own.
Inside a noisy Shah Alam Stadium on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, there was plenty to be positive about, with at least 45 minutes for most players. Marco van Ginkel and Eden Hazard completed more than an hour.
Jose Mourinho’s second selection of his second term handed a first appearance to Mark Schwarzer in goal, the Australian now having enough training under his belt to play having joined the tour late.
There was also a first start for Traore, alongside De Bruyne and Hazard in behind Lukaku. John Terry was partnered by Nathaniel Chalobah in central defence, while Frank Lampard was absent once more.
Malaysia fielded their strongest available 11, and lined up in traditional black and yellow stripes against Chelsea’s new white shirts and shorts with blue socks.
Chelsea quickly on top and more comfortable in possession
Lukaku brought a save low to his left from Farizal Marlias, but within a minute Chelsea were in front when De Bruyne was released down the right flank and squared low into the box were Traore was waiting to divert a first-time finish low into the bottom corner. It was the perfect start to settle any nerves for the Burkina Faso international.
Schwarzer’s first action was to collect an overhit Malaysian cross into the area, beginning an attack which eventually saw Traore bring another save from Farizal, after tidy combination play from Nathaniel Chalobah and Marco van Ginkel in their own half.
A rare Malaysian foray just after 20 minutes brought them a corner and a first sight of goal, the ball dropping loose inside the area and deflected behind by an outstretched De Bruyne.
The 22-year-old would have an impact at the other end soon afterwards, latching onto a Lukaku flick and blasting a half-volley into the roof of the net from just inside the area. In the process, he appeared to hurt himself, and was stretchered off immediately. He did however join his team-mates on the bench shortly into the second half. His replacement was 17-year-old Islam Feruz, making his first Chelsea appearance.
The young Scot was quickly into the action and combined down the right with Lukaku, who then powered past his man before crossing low, just failing to find Van Ginkel at the near post.
Malaysia were losing the physical battle, Chelsea able to either outmuscle or outmanoeuvre their opponents too easily, but Gurusamy brought a low save from Schwarzer with an ambitious low drive that bounced in front of the goalkeeper, forcing him to push the ball around the post to safety.
That looked like being the last action of the first half, but Feruz had different ideas, picking out Lukaku’s well-timed run perfectly, allowing the striker time in behind the defence to slot past the goalkeeper and put the result beyond doubt. Pleasing to Mourinho will be that it is a move the squad has worked on in training.
Chelsea made nine changes at the break, with only Van Ginkel and Hazard remaining on the pitch. There were more chances for Wallace, Andre Schurrle and Tomas Kalas to impress, but our first two chances both came from existing squad members.
Demba Ba brought a decent parry from Farizal low to his right, before Hazard nodded a cross back across goal just wide.
Whether it was the three-goal margin or tiredness creeping into the Malaysians can be discussed, but the home side appeared a little less eager in the second period. Their first corner of the half came as a result of Chelsea errors, Kalas overhitting a backpass to a rather static Cech, who gave up the chase and allowed the ball to run behind.
Mourinho withdrew the two starters midway through the second period, allowing game time for Lucas Piazon and a first appearance of the tour for Josh McEachran, who missed Bangkok with a groin strain.
The Englishman, in Van Ginkel’s deeper role, threaded one well-weighted pass through for Ba down the left, which the forward used well to bring a smart save from Farizal.
Cech had to claim another low cross as Malaysia sought a late consolation, but the next goal would come from the Blues, as Victor Moses cut inside and fired a low shot which evaded Farizal two minutes from time.
The home side would have the final word though, claiming a goal that most in the stadium would cherish, for their home country. A ball was whipped in from the left and Cech parried the initial effort, but was unable to do anything about Mohd Fadhli Shas’s diving header which flew into the back of the net.
Ashley Cole then had to characteristically clear an effort off the line in the dying seconds as the Malaysians rallied, but it would end 4-1 on an encouraging night for the Blues.
Next, we move on to Indonesia and Jakarta, with more important match minutes to be amassed for the players. So far, so good.
Chelsea first half (4-2-3-1): Schwarzer; Ivanovic, Chalobah, Terry (c), Bertrand; Van Ginkel, Essien; Traore, De Bruyne (Feruz 31), Hazard; Lukaku.
Chelsea second half (4-2-3-1): Cech; Walace, Kalas, Cahill, Cole; Van Ginkel (McEachran 66), Ramires; Moses, Hazard (Piazon 66), Schurrle; Ba.
Goals Traore 6, De Bruyne 29, Lukaku 45+3, Moses 88
Malaysia XI: Farizal, Mahalli (Fadhli h-t), Azizi Matt Rose (Fadhli 45+1), Asraruddin (Reuben 83), Aidil Zafuan (c) (Putera 81), Norshahrul (Safee 67), Shakir (Nazmi 67), Gurusamy (Safiq 55), Kunanlan (Nazrin 71), Amri (Zubir 87), Shahrul (Norfarhan 55).
Goals Fadhli 90+1
Referee Nagor Amir Bin Noor Mohamed