Home » EPL, Latest » Pre-season Friendly: Thai All Stars 0 Chelsea 4

Frank Lampard reminded Chelsea of the route to goal in their win against the Thai All Stars but it proved another fruitless slog in a blue shirt for Fernando Torres.

Lampard opened the scoring just before half-time which makes him the first Blues player to score under new manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Chelsea had won their previous pre-season friendlies 1-0, both courtesy of own goals, but they ran away with the win against the Thai Premier League All Stars here in Bangkok.

Jose Bosingwa claimed the second after the break, when the Thai goalkeeper allowed a harmless cross through his hands. Then goals from Branislav Ivanovic and Florent Malouda made it emphatic.

Villas-Boas started with a strong team. Petr Cech made his first appearance of pre-season behind a back four including John Terry and Ivanovic at centre-half. Torres started up front with Daniel Sturridge and Nicolas Anelka in support.

John Obi Mikel anchored the midfield with Lampard to the right and Josh McEachran left. Lampard normally plays on the left of the trio but Villas-Boas has used him on the right, probably because he has more left-sided options available.

McEachran continued to impress. If anything, he looks happier when freed from the disciplinary responsibilities of the holding role. He is effortless in possession with wonderful awareness, plays at a brisk tempo and is strong in the tackle despite his slender frame.

It was a long McEachran pass from midfield which released Sturridge for the first clear chance of the game. Sturridge scampered clear down an inside-left channel but pulled his shot across the face of goal.

The referee ignored a blatant handball by All Stars defender Obama Joseph Florent and then decided Torres had not been bundled over unfairly in the front of goal when it seemed he had been.

Torres made little impact. Two decent opportunities came his way before half time. He hesitated on the first, a sharp one inside the penalty box, and it was blocked and seemed to rush the second, screwing it wide with his left foot.

Anelka looked slightly more dangerous and linked up effectively with Torres without creating a breakthrough. This has been the most striking issue during the brief action under Villas-Boas. There has been no great fluency in attack.

The manager insisted he was not concerned after his team beat a Malaysia XI 1-0 thanks to an own goal which did not actually cross the line. Chelsea’s other pre-season friendly was a 1-0 win at Portsmouth courtesy of another own goal.

This has proved the stumbling block for his predecessors: How to develop the ruthless winning model built by Jose Mourinho into something more flamboyant, without compromising results.

It may prove impossible if the club continue to resist a major overhaul of players but Villas-Boas has been tinkering with his options since arriving from Porto, looking for chemistry in new combinations.

There were scares at the back. Cech saved well from Frank Acheampong and Pipob Onmo glanced a header wide when Ivanovic misjudged a cross.

Lampard struck in the 38th minute, a trademark goal from 20 yards with the ball flashing low inside the post.

Villas-Boas changed only his ‘keeper at half-time – Henrique Hilario on for Cech – and Chelsea galloped further ahead as the Thais lost their tactical discipline amid a flurry of substitutions.

Bosingwa’s misdirected high cross somehow evaded the grasp of goalkeeper Pattarakorn Tangnurat and into the net for 2-0.

Ivanovic charged down the centre of the pitch to collect a pass from McEachran and make it 3-0 and Malouda smashed one in from close range.

Hilario made a terrific saves in a matter of minutes from Wuttchai Tatong and Leandro dos Santos before Chelsea made eight changes.

Villas Boas then sent on youngsters Jamal Blackman, Billy Clifford and Nathaniel Chalobah for the final few minutes.

Villas-Boas was pleased by his side’s win but is not getting carried away.

He told the club website: ‘I said in Malaysia we had a lot of chances, and a lot of goals we did not score and it changes your perspective on how you look at the game.

‘Today you score more goals and everything looks more positive.

‘I will keep the same opinion, we had the same behaviours and the same pattern of what we are trying to achieve.

‘It is not that this performance was great compared to the other one, it is just that we scored more goals and it seems that everything is positive.’

Source: DailyMail

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