Chelsea

Full highlight: Chelsea 5 vs Wrexham 0

Chelsea got their pre-season campaign off to a winning start as a brace from Ian Maatsen and goals from Conor Gallagher, Christopher Nkunku and Ben Chilwell secured a 5-0 victory over Wrexham in front of 50,000 supporters in Chapel Hill.

A fresh start
It was very much a new look starting XI named by head coach Mauricio Pochettino. Jamie Cumming started in goal behind a back four of Malo Gusto, Trevoh Chalobah, Bashir Humphreys and Marc Cucurella.

Andrey Santos and Cesare Casadei were used as a double pivot with Diego Moreira, Carney Chukwuemeka and Maatsen deployed behind summer signing Nicolas Jackson, who needed very little time to make an impact.
In the third minute, the Senegal international received a pass and skipped beyond Wrexham defender Ben Tozer. He had the option if firing toward goal but instead laid the ball off to Maatsen who finished well.

The evening heat and humidity made it difficult for Chelsea’s players – who undertook a training session on the morning of the game – to maintain their early intensity. Yet they defended well and produced fluid passages of possession that pleased Pochettino.

And five minutes before the interval, a second goal arrived for the Blues. Moreira, signed from Benfica this summer, drove infield and played a pass to Maatsen. He exchanged passes with Chukwuemeka and guided a shot into the corner from the edge of the box.
Several changes were made at the interval. Christopher Nkunku was introduced for his first appearance in blue while England trio Ben Chilwell, Conor Gallagher and Raheem Sterling entered the action.

There was a rare sight of goal for Wrexham early into the second period as Paul Mullin, the club’s top scorer in the previous two seasons, dragged an effort wide. Sterling followed suit at the opposite end of the pitch.

Goalkeeper Lucas Bergstrom was introduced with 15 minutes remaining and was immediately forced into a reaction stop from a Wrexham corner.
proved an important moment as seconds later Chelsea added a third goal. Sterling moved inside beyond several challenges and knocked the ball off to Gallagher, whose low drive through several bodies beat Rob Lainton.

Chelsea soon added a fourth – and it came from Nkunku. The French international was put through on goal by Casadei and showed excellent composure to skip beyond Lainton and fire into the unguarded net.

There was still time for a fifth to be added in stoppage time. Angelo Gabriel, signed from Santos last week, played a pass through the Wrexham defence for Chilwell to round off the scoring.
What it means…
A winning start to pre-season, something Pochettino outlined was important ahead of the game, and vital minutes in the tank for the majority of the squad.

What comes next…
The Blues depart from Chapel Hill and move on to Philadelphia for the Premier League Summer Series. First up is Brighton on Saturday evening at Lincoln Financial Field

The teams
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cumming (Bergstrom, 75); Gusto (Gilchrist, HT), Chalobah (Cucurella 85), Humphreys, Cucurella (Chilwell, HT); Casadei, Santos (Hall, 62); Moreira (Angelo, HT), Chukwuemeka (Gallagher, HT), Maatsen; Jackson (Nkunku, HT)

Unused subs: Kepa, Silva

Wrexham: Foster (Lainton, HT), O’Connell (Hayden, HT), Tozer (Cleworth, 60), O’Connor (Young, 60), Forde (Barnett, HT), Jones (McAlinden, 60), Cannon (Boyle, HT), Lee (Davies 60), Mendy (McFadzean, HT), Dalby (Palmer, 60) Mullin (Waters, 60)

Unused subs: Howard, Hosannah, James

Attendence: 50,596

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