Contrasting fortunes ahead of S'pore

Turkish international Hakan Calhanoglu celebrating his 85th-minute goal against Bayern as AC Milan romped to a 4-0 thrashing. Resurgent Milan have spent heavily this summer.
Turkish international Hakan Calhanoglu celebrating his 85th-minute goal against Bayern as AC Milan romped to a 4-0 thrashing. Resurgent Milan have spent heavily this summer.PHOTO: XINHUA

BEIJING • Chelsea crushed Arsenal 3-0 in a pre-season game in Beijing yesterday, but the friendly turned ugly as Blues forward Pedro Rodriguez left the field with a bloodied face after a big collision with Gunners goalkeeper David Ospina.

The injury scare was followed by a two-goal performance by Chelsea's Belgian international forward Michy Batshuayi.

In the absence of new signing Spanish striker Alvaro Morata - who arrived in Singapore yesterday evening ahead of the Blues' International Champions Cup (ICC) clash with Bayern Munich on Tuesday - Batshuayi was the star before a crowd of 55,619 at the Bird's Nest Stadium.

However, Pedro was left stricken just half an hour into the match with blood on his face, after colliding with Colombian international Ospina, who slammed into him as he leapt to clear a long ball with both fists.

After a few minutes of medical attention on the ground, the Spanish international walked off the pitch and did not return to the game.

Willian opened the scoring from just inside the area in the 40th minute, taking a low shot to beat a diving Ospina before Batshuayi scored his brace.

The victory gave the Blues some measure of revenge after Arsenal stunned Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final in May to deny the Premier League champions a double trophy season.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte confirmed after the game that Pedro was taken to the hospital for routine checks.

"He should be okay. He stays here and if the situation is okay, he will come tomorrow to Singapore," said the Italian.

"It is good to have this start, but we have to work a lot to improve on the physical and tactical. Pre-season is very important.

"These games are important because you understand your level. We must be happy for the commitment of (our) players and with our football."

In an earlier ICC match in Shenzhen, German Bundesliga champions Bayern were thrashed 4-0 by Italian Serie A side AC Milan.

Midfielders Franck Kessie and Hakan Calhanoglu scored their first goals for the club, while 19-year-old forward Patrick Cutrone netted a brace.

Milan fans were also treated to debuts for their big summer signings, Italian centre-back Leonardo Bonucci, who moved from Juventus for €42 million (S$66 million), and Portuguese forward Andre Silva.

"The result has somewhat surprised me. The balance was missing in our game, but we are still in pre-season and need time," said Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"Sometimes this can happen. We need to move on and continue working to be ready for the start of the season."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 23, 2017, with the headline 'Contrasting fortunes ahead of S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe