Picture: Chelsea.com

Fc Barcelona suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Chelsea in their first pre-season game at the Saitama Stadium in Japan.

Antoine Griezmann started, while Frankie De Jong made a small cameo as the La Liga side were beaten 2-1 by Premier League outfit, Chelsea.

Ivan Rakitic scored a consolation goal for Spanish champions but it wasn’t enough.

The match could’ve witnessed more goals but both teams weren’t at all clinical.

Barcelona’s new signing Antoine Griezmann had a great chance to score on his debut but he failed to connect with the ball.

Chelsea broke the deadlock in the 34th minute after Tammy Abraham who rounded off Ter Stegen before finishing off calmly.

Barcelona started the second half with an attacking mindset but Kepa Arrizabalga was up to the mark and made some decent saves.

Chelsea’s lead was doubled by substitute Ross Barkley, who’s left-footed shot couldn’t be dealt by substitute goalkeeper Neto.

Barca got their consolation in stoppage time through Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian scored a screamer from outside the box. Kepa, who had made some fine saves in the game couldn’t do anything this time.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said after the match that he and the boys are feeling good and are happy with the performances so far. He added that the team is strong as a group and have a positive mindset.

He emphasized that the work they’ve done so far has paid off. However, he did say that there is still a lot of room for improvement before their first Premier League opener against Manchester United.

Chelsea still has 3 pre-season games left to play against Reading, Salzburg and Borussia Monchengladbach.

On the other hand, Barcelona played their first game of pre-season and wasn’t as sharp as their opponents.

Antoine Griezmann made his unofficial debut and said that he is really happy and enjoyed his first few minutes, despite the defeat.







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