The players began to trickle out on to the training pitch at the Catholic University, our base since arriving in Washington last week, with John Terry, Marco van Ginkel and Andre Schurrle the first of the outfield players to emerge.

After five minutes of taking pot-shots at each other, with Terry and Branislav Ivanovic honing their technique by striking the ball off the top of a cone, it was down to business, as thoughts turned to Saturday’s friendly against Roma at the RFK Stadium.

Christophe Lollichon put the goalkeepers through their paces at the far end of the pitch, starting the session with an exercise designed to test their reflexes, before Petr Cech and Hilario took on Mark Schwarzer and Jamal Blackman in a game of racket-less badminton, where the players are forced to use their hands and a full-size goal acts as the net.

Both David Luiz and Juan Mata were back in training having missed the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid.

Shortly after, it was down to ball work, with the bigger group navigating a circuit, working on some one-touch passing and finishing by shooting towards a small-sized goal, before completing a similar exercise, albeit on a larger scale, and attempting to beat either Cech or Schwarzer.

What followed was a routine which saw the players go up against each other in small-sided games on a scaled-down pitch, with Fernando Torres scoring a brilliant goal and Hilario making a great stop to thwart Romelu Lukaku.

The session culminated with Rui Faria leading a warm-down exercise, with the focus largely on stretching.

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