Chelsea scored a solid 2-0 victory over AC Milan in New Jersey in the semifinals of the 2013 International Champions Cup Sunday, advancing to the final for a chance at the trophy.
The Blues threatened in the fourth minute, as Kevin De Bruyne swung a low shot toward goal and Branislav Ivanovic flicked it toward Italian goalkeeper Christian Abbiati. Abbiati, however, was quick to react, saving Milan.
In the seventh minute, the action began to open up considerably, as Oscar added his second shot of the game, albeit wide of the post. Milan threatened a couple minutes later, earning a corner and a free kick, but was not able to score.
In the 18th minute, moments after Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho could be seen frustrated with his club on the sidelines, Mario Balotelli earned a free kick for Milan as Ivanovic was given a yellow card.
But Balotelli's free kick met Chelsea's wall head on, and the Blues escaped unscathed. Both clubs battled back and forth from there, with Oscar and Balotelli seeing their attempts deflected or saved.
But in the 29th minute, Chelsea struck.
Eden Hazard's fine work breezing through the Milan defense set up De Bruyne, who finished past Abbiati for the 1-0 advantage.
Milan responded by gaining a bit of possession, but ultimately wasn't able to get through the Chelsea back line despite its strong efforts. After one half, Chelsea had a 1-0 lead.
In the 49th minute, Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng swung an impressive through ball past Ivanovic, but second-half sub John Terry was quick to the ball, touching it away for a corner kick. Chelsea defended well on the ensuing corner.
In the 54th minute, sub Fernando Torres found Marco van Ginkel with a fine pass, but Van Ginkel sliced it wide.
Prince-Boateng, who had more than a few attempts to score on Sunday, had a reasonable opportunity to find net in the 62nd minute, but he botched the shot.
Torres and Juan Mata continued to shine for the Blues, creating some opportunities down the stretch.
In the 75th minute, Niang may have given Milan its best chance of the match, curling a ball into the box for Antonio Nocerino, but Nocerino's header was way off line.
Niang threatened again, controlling a lofted ball, swiveling and then swinging a shot toward the bottom corner of net, but Gary Cahill made a fantastic block to rob Milan.
Torres and Victor Moses exhibited a bit of chemistry going back and forth before Torres found Andre Schurrle in the 79th minute, but Schurrle blasted the ball over the crossbar. The German international again wasted a fine effort from his teammates in the 83rd minute, hesitating then booting a deflected ball into the arms of Abbiati.
But Schurrle scored in extra time off a superb shot into the bottom right corner of net. Abbiati didn't have a chance.
Chelsea looked like the better club throughout in its 2-0 win, even if the score was rather modest for Jose Mourinho's men.
Chelsea Team Grades
|Kevin De Bruyne||A|
|Marco van Ginkel||B+|
Milan Team Grades
|Sulley Ali Muntari||C+|
|Nigel De Jong||C|
|Stephan El Shaarawy||C|
Chelsea will face Real Madrid at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Sun Life Stadium in Miami for the International Champions Cup trophy.