Chelsea defeats Messi-less Barcelona as Lampard wins first trophy

A goal in each half from Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley earned Chelsea a 2-1 win over Barcelona in the pre-season Rakuten Cup in Saitama, Japan. Ivan Rakitic guided home a beautiful consolation for the Catalonian giants who were without the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

With the Spanish side a week or two behind Chelsea in their pre-season preparations, Frank Lampard demanded energy and high pressing from his side, and that was in immediate evidence despite the evening humidity.
Image result for rakuten cup 2019Christian Pulisic started for Chelsea against Barcelona today, as did Kepa Arrizabalaga and Tammy Abraham. That pair missed the Kawasaki Frontale friendly on Friday through illness but with the both selected from the off by Frank Lampard.


Barcelona gave a first start to £107m signing Antoine Griezmann, and he combined well with Ousmane Dembele to threaten early on before a wayward pass from Sergio Busquets gifted Chelsea the lead.
Image result for rakuten cup 2019Abraham gratefully took advantage, skipping past goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to roll home the opener.
Image result for rakuten cup 2019Both teams made a raft of changes at half-time, and more in a fragmented second half, but Chelsea upped the pace again. One of their substitites, Ross Barkley, was a purposeful presence and he provided the second goal with a curling left-foot effort from 20 yards.


Ivan Rakitic arrowed home a glorious top-corner consolation for a physically undercooked Barcelona, but Chelsea were not to be denied their second win of pre-season.
ImageChelsea fly back to London immediately, and are next in action at Reading on Sunday. While Barcelona take on Japan’s Vissel Kobe on Saturday in their next pre season game.