On a rainy night, the home team was able to get onto the scoresheet early in the final preseason match of the summer. Shortly after kick-off, Chelsea showcased their great passing while working it up the pitch. Ramires was then able to link up with Costa for an early goal:
As Joe Krishnan of The Independent noted, Ramires deserves a lot of credit for the assist:
A few minutes later, the Blues doubled their lead on an aggressive play by Andre Schurrle. He curled it from just outside the box and hit the post, but Costa was right there for the easy finish. Bleacher Report UK captured the play:
With a 2-0 lead by the seventh minute, Chelsea were able to sit back and control possession while risking very little. Everyone seemed to be on the same page to attack, although they struggled to get legitimate chances in the final third.
Esteban Granero had a few solid opportunities early in the match, but he could not get anything into the net.
In the second half, young midfielders Oscar and Willian remained aggressive alongside Eden Hazard and Costa, but they could not get another goal. Meanwhile, Thibaut Courtois maintained a clean sheet on the other end in what was a great defensive effort all around.
Jose Mourinho's squad should be satisfied with what became a dominant performance that was even more impressive than the score would show. The club's Twitter account was certainly satisfied:
Conversely, Real Sociedad will have to do a better job of finding offense if they want to compete in La Liga and the Europa League this season.
Diego Costa, Chelsea: A
Costa was heavily responsible for knocking out Chelsea in last year's Champions League as a part of Atletico Madrid. For this, he recently apologized while saying he wants to earn the respect of the fans, via Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard:
Now I can say I’m really sorry for the part I played in the game we won at Stamford Bridge. [...]
I hope my actions on the pitch and my feet will do the talking and then people can decide if I’m a good player or not, if I’m improving or not. All I can say is I love playing hard and fairly. I love playing at a high intensity and, hopefully, that can rub off on some of our players. I just want to become better and, hopefully, I can do that here.
Although he still has to be productive in the EPL season, fans have likely already forgiven him. He scored two goals in his first home match for the Blues and provided hope that he can finally be the striker the club has been missing.
Costa did not do anything overly impressive, but he used his great positioning to be in the right place at the right time and finished well in both chances.
Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea: A-
While fans spent the summer celebrating the addition of Costa, Cesc Fabregas is also expected to make a huge impact this year. The former Barcelona midfielder showed against Real Sociedad that he is in great control of the match and knows how to set up teammates for good looks.
As Chelsea Youth points out, this is exactly what the club is looking for in a midfielder:
If he can keep this up all year, the passing for Chelsea will be something to behold.
Esteban Granero, Real Sociedad: A-
Although Granero has had a hard time getting onto the pitch for Real Sociedad, he showed Tuesday that he can be useful on the attack. He was not able to crack the scoresheet, but he provided a lot of effort and a few good chances for the road team.
The 27-year-old player has displayed some talent in his career and should be able to provide some help over the course of the season.
|Chelsea Starting XI Grades|
|Real Sociedad Starting XI Grades|
|Alberto de la Bella||C|
Real Sociedad have one more friendly against Eibar on Friday before starting official competitions. This will be followed by a matchup against FC Krasnodar in the Europa League.
Chelsea have completed their preseason fixtures and will now get ready for the start of the English Premier League against Burnley on Monday.
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