Chelsea suffered a setback in their 2014-15 preparations on Wednesday night, where a Blues line-up not short on superstar names was forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Austria's RZ Pellets.
In some ways, the result will have been counted as Jose Mourinho's first pre-season test. The club's two existing summer wins over Wycombe Wanderers and AFC Wimbledon came in home settings.
After going into the break scoreless, the hosts went ahead through a Silvio finish. The RZ Pellets substitute poked past Petr Cech on 55 minutes before Jeremie Boga snatched an 83rd-minute equaliser.
We Are Chelsea supplies footage of Boga's late finish, a well-taken chance even under friendly circumstances:
Boga's Golazo https://t.co/Drs8pXWg7i— WeAreChelseaFC (@WeAreChelseaFC) July 23, 2014
The 17-year-old will be delighted to have made such fine use of the time he was afforded, while Filipe Luis gave a solid performance in Chelsea colours and Patrick Bamford also impressed in a starting role.
Although the fixture was low in risk regardless of the outcome, some of Mourinho's stars are in a bid to impress, and may not have left the desired impression in Klagenfurt.
|Marco van Ginkel||8.5|
Marco van Ginkel: 8.5
Chelsea fans will be over the moon to see Marco van Ginkel progressing so strongly in pre-season, the Dutchman having missed out last season after a knee injury cut his campaign desperately short.
The former Vitesse playmaker stood out in a Blues midfield that struggled to create chances at times, particularly for the veracity with which he dispossessed the opposition before seeking out forward-thinking probes of his own.
Football Radar's Jack Rathborn even suggested Van Ginkel may have been wise to ease up for the sake of his own health:
Van Ginkel loves a challenge, absolutely flying in to tackles so far, calm yourself down, just back from injury! #CFCLive— Jack Rathborn (@jackrathborn) July 23, 2014
With any luck, those at Stamford Bridge will see the Netherlands international develop in the vein they had hoped for last year, with his pre-season preparation playing a pivotal role in that course of action.
Kurt Zouma: 5.5
Still clearly taking his time to adjust in this squad, one part of Kurt Zouma's game which has clearly translated from his time in Ligue 1 is a reckless streak. He's never shy of storming into a challenge when it's unnecessary to do so.
After being awarded the No. 5 jersey at Stamford Bridge for the coming season, the former St. Etienne starlet needs to make a big step up this term, but Anchorfan's Doron Salomon notes that his discipline is an issue:
Zouma looks utterly reckless. Nailed on for a few red cards this season— Doron Salomon (@DoronSalomon) July 23, 2014
Zouma was responsible for Wimbledon being awarded a penalty earlier this week, and yet again it was one of his fouls that would give RZ Pellets their chance to score.
Physically, it's clear the youngster has potential, and there were bright signs in Austria, including some sound marking and work in pushing the ball forward. But his football intellect needs to go through a state of maturing.
Petr Cech: 8.0
Intent not to give his No. 1 jersey up to Thibaut Courtois this season, the stopper was in fine form and unfortunate not to save the Silvio opener which he attempted to argue had not crossed the line.
The Czech international now has a very serious contender for Mourinho's starting role at goalkeeper, and the Portuguese boss will have been impressed by Wednesday's outing, which included a number of fingertip saves.
Communication was as resolute as ever, and although there is undoubtedly tougher opponents to come, Cech held his own with aplomb this time around.