Hopefully Chelsea Showing Bodes Well
Wimbledon gave Premier League Chelsea a huge shock in our pre season friendly yesterday, but unfortunately went down three two at full time.
With the Margate result ringing in everyone's ears still, the performance, battle and spirit shown against the former Premier League Champions will have left everybody hoping that it was a sign of things to come in 2014-15.
Despite losing the positives are listless and huge consolation can be taken in the knowledge that we forced them to really up their game to avoid a shock pre season defeat.
With a bumper crowd of 4,634, Wimbledon took a two goal advantage in the game and few can tell the players that this friendly was meaningless other than for fitness.
Skipper Alan Bennett took his moment of glory bearly before Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had taken his seat, as he met a George Francomb corner and headed in via the post to open the scoring.
Chelsea obviously reacted to going behind, and we dealt with them perfectly with a proper team defensive display, but we were still a threat ourselves on the counter attack and had chances that could've seen us increase the lead before we did.
In the end our second game on the 36 minute from Matt Tubbs as he got on the end of a long ball from George Francomb before being pulled down in the box. Tubbs stepped back up and slotted it away.
The first half ended two nil, and the line up for the Dons could well be the line up we see at the start of the season, and even allowing for the fact it was a mixed Chelsea side, containing promising youngsters, they did still have the talented and experienced Mark Schwarzer, and Mohamed Salah on the pitch, and our score line arguable was justified.
Manager Neal Ardley made only one change at half time, no doubt hoping to not interrupt our flow giving the unexpected score line, with Will Nightingale coming on for Bennett.
Chelsea however obviously weren't happy and made eight changes for the second period, bringing on former England defender John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic amongst others.
With 20 minutes remaining in the game they also brought on two further subs and changed their formation to aide their chances of a more positive result, and as we know, ultimately that paid off for them.
The second half continued much as the first, with chances falling to both teams whilst Chelsea obviously had the lions share of possession.
Ardley made a raft of changes on the hour mark, being happy with what he saw from the starting eleven and getting a good hour into them to boot, and that was where the game turned.
Terry was in the right place at the right time from a corner, as he so often has been, and put the ball past Ross Worner who had only just come on and Chelsea levelled the match six minutes from time when Salah latched on to a long ball from Lewis Baker and finished with composure.
At the death, it was that man again Terry who salvaged them the win they probably expected, as he again rose to convert from a corner.
A good workout, plenty of positives and despite the result it was certainly the reaction everyone hoped for and then some, following our last friendly.
Shea (Worner 69), Fuller, Bennett (Nightingale 60), Frampton, Smith (Kennedy 69), Francomb (Sainte-Luce 60), Bulman (Beere 60), Moore (Jacquart 69), Rigg (Arthur 60), Akinfenwa (Pell 60), Tubbs (Azeez 69).
Goals - Bennett (1), Tubbs (39 pen).
Chelsea first half:
Schwarzer, Aina, Zouma, Christiansen, Ake, van Ginkel, Matic, Salah, Boga, Swift, Bamford.
Chelsea second half:
Schwarzer (Beeney 69), Ivanovic, Chalobah, Terry, Dasilva, Romeu, van Ginkel (Houghton 69), Salah, Baker, Brown, Solanke.
Goals - Terry (74, 89), Salah (82).
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