World Football Challenge: Inter 0-2 Chelsea


Drogba, Lampard on target for Blues. Over 81,000 in Rose Bowl for World Football Challenge match

PASADENA - Inter's pre-season preparations continued with a 2-0 loss against Chelsea in Tuesday's World Football Challenge encounter, watched by over 81,000 fans in the Rose Bowl.

Didier Drogba opened the scoring early in the first half of the first ever meeting between the two clubs, Frank Lampard adding his team's second from the penalty spot shortly after the interval.

José Mourinho experimented a 4-4-1-1 in Pasadena with Thiago Motta in a supporting role behind lone striker Balotelli. Quaresma, Milito and Materazzi, all starters against Club America, were among the substitutes while midfield pair Muntari and Stankovic sat out the match for precautionary reasons.

Chelsea boss Ancelotti brought in Essien, Drogba and Kalou for their first taste of pre-season action, leaving Deco on the bench after his performance in a holding midfield role against Seattle.

Terry and Carvalho partnered each other in defence after playing a half each against Seattle and the two central defenders produced early chances as Chelsea made a strong start, heading over from two quick corners.

Chelsea's early pressure paid dividends with eleven minutes gone when Drogba collected a short pass from Lampard and crashed a low long-range shot into the far corner beyond Belec's reach. 

Lampard rifled narrowly minute as the Blues threatened to add a quick second, and Inter's Slovenian keeper was kept busy man with saves from Drogba and the England midfielder.

Inter gradually eased into the game, Mario Balotelli having a diagonal shot blocked and two free kicks cleared before setting up Vieira who was hastily closed down by the Chelsea rearguard.

Mourinho replaced winger Obi with Milito at the start of the second half and the Argentine was straight into the action, slaloming his way into a shooting position, only for Cech to narrow the angle.

Chelsea sub Anelka stabbed wide at the other end as Ancelotti's men looked to add to their lead, and they did five minutes in when Lampard sent Belec the wrong way from the penalty spot after Cordoba handled Sturridge's angled shot.

More changes followed in the Inter ranks with Ibrahimovic and Mancini replacing Thiago Motta and Chivu. The substitutions sparked new life into the Nerazzurri and Italian youngsters Santon and Balotelli created good chances, the defender sending a powerful shot wide and the striker having an overhead kick blocked.

Chelsea's search for a third saw Anelka set up chances for Lampard and Deco, and Mancienne pull a low shot inches wide of Belec's left-hand post.

The best chances of the final ten minutes belonged to Ibrahimovic. After finding the side-netting with a far-post shot from Quaresma's outswinging right-wing free kick, the Swede blasted a powerful free kick through the Chelsea wall and into the arms of Turnbull.

Di Santon went close for the Blues in time added on, hooking high over the bar from close range after being played in by Deco.

Inter 0-2 Chelsea (HT: 0-1)

Scorers: Drogba 11, Lampard (pen) 50.

Inter: Belec; Santon, Cordoba, Burdisso, Chivu (Mancini 60); Zanetti, Vieira, Cambiasso (Krhin 80), Obi (Milito 46); Thiago Motta (Ibrahimovic 60); Balotelli (Quaresma 80).
Subs not used: Orlandoni, Materazzi, Destro.
Coach: José Mourinho.

Chelsea: Cech (Turnbull 64); Ivanovic (Mancienne 62), Carvalho (Alex 46), Terry, Cole (Hutchinson 79); Essien (Belletti 64), Obi Mikel, Malouda (Deco 46); Lampard (Di Santo 88); Drogba (Anelka 46), Kalou (Sturridge 46).
Subs not used: Hilario, Shevchenko, Pizarro, Sinclair.
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti.

Referee: Ricardo Salazar (USA).

Booked: Burdisso 49, Ivanovic 59.

Att.: 81,224.

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