Chelsea conclude pre-season with successive wins against Udinese

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Hakim Ziyech both score on Saturday

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Chelsea ended their pre-season campaign on a positive note with back-to-back wins against Udinese, providing the Blues with some hope after a difficult start to the 2022-23 build-up.

Manager Thomas Tuchel was forced to question his team's commitment after Chelsea were thrashed 4-0 by Arsenal in Florida.

"We were simply not competitive," Tuchel had said. "The worrying part is that the level of commitment physically and mentally for this match was far higher for Arsenal than for us.

"It was surely not our strongest line-up. This is a part of an explanation but only a little part... I cannot guarantee we will be ready in two weeks," he added, referring to Chelsea's Premier League opener against Everton on August 6.

Chelsea beat Mexican side Club America and lost to Major League Soccer team Charlotte FC on penalties in their previous pre-season friendlies in the States.

Some of those concerns were addressed over the weekend as Chelsea first defeated Udinese 3-1 on Friday, before registering a 2-0 win against the same opposition on Saturday behind closed doors.

Tuchel gave more members of his squad valuable match minutes ahead of the new season.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Hakim Ziyech scored either side of half-time on Saturday.

Loftus-Cheek broke the deadlock with a smooth chipped finish in added time before he was fouled. The resulting penalty was converted easily by Ziyech.

Chelsea enter the new season following Todd Boehly-led takeover with a couple of significant acquisitions.

The Blues completed the signing of Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli on a four-year contract, becoming the London side's second summer signing after Raheem Sterling's arrival at Stamford Bridge.

Updated: July 30, 2022, 12:16 PM
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