Belfast Telegraph

Maurizio Sarri enjoys winning start as Chelsea boss in Perth Glory friendly

Pedro scored the only goal of the game in Australia.

Maurizio Sarri’s reign as Chelsea manager got off to a winning start as they beat Perth Glory 1-0 on their pre-season trip to Australia.

Pedro scored the only goal of the game early on but the Blues, playing a 4-3-3 formation, wasted several opportunities to win by a bigger margin in their first match under Sarri, who was named as Antonio Conte’s replacement on July 14.

Monday’s game against the A-League side was Chelsea’s only match on the short tour Down Under.

New signing Jorginho, who followed Sarri to the London club from Napoli, made his debut at the Optus Stadium and looked bright, with experienced heads like Cesc Fabregas and David Luiz joined in the starting XI by youngsters Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ethan Ampadu.

Despite being far from full strength, with their World Cup stars still absent, the Premier League outfit found their groove early and took the lead after just five minutes.

The impressive Hudson-Odoi, still only 17, beat his marker on the left then sent in a cross which Pedro guided into the far corner.

It was all Chelsea and they created several chances to extend their lead, with Ross Barkley, Alvaro Morata and Pedro spurning good opportunities before the break.

Hudson-Odoi and Jorginho were the stand-out performers in the first half, and were given the rest of the evening off after being withdrawn at half-time.

That did not alter the flow of the game, though, and Barkley should have doubled the tourists’ advantage but he hit the post with a left-footed effort.

Fabregas, Pedro, Tammy Abraham and Mario Pasalic all had further good opportunities but the Perth defence was holding firm.

Lucas Piazon then had the best chance of all to make it a more comfortable night for Sarri’s men but he could not get sufficient power in his shot after being set free by Abraham.

And they were nearly made to pay late on when Brendon Santalab glanced a header just wide when he should have scored for the hosts.

Chelsea are next in action on Saturday when they take on Inter Milan in Nice.

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