Chelsea vs. Real Sociedad: Winners and Losers from Final Pre-Season Match
A brace from Diego Costa inside six minutes was enough to secure the victory, and thoughts now turn to the first Premier League match at Burnley on August 18.
Despite the comfortable nature of the win and a solid team performance overall, there are a few players who should be concerned about their place on the bus to Burnley next Monday.
Click through for the winners and losers from this final friendly fixture.
Winner: Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois was the only Chelsea player to complete 90 minutes of the final game. He had very little to do but reacted well to save from a Sociedad counter-attack.
With Jose Mourinho having revealed after the game that he has chosen his first-choice goalkeeper for next season, per Matt Law of The Telegraph, Courtois’ Chelsea future looks promising.
Loser: Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres came on for the final 30 minutes of this game and had an opportunity to get on the scoresheet after a few minutes.
To the surprise of nobody, he was only able to guide Filipe Luis’ cross wide.
Shortly after that miss, a badly controlled ball on the edge of the Sociedad box allowed the Spanish side to break, with Courtois forced into making his first save of the match to keep his clean sheet.
Winner: Andre Schurrle
Andre Schurrle was presented to the crowd as a World Cup winner, and he lived up to his billing with a stunning strike from the edge of the area that rebounded off the post. Costa was there to finish the goal, and Schurrle was spurred on to complete an excellent first-half performance.
He is still not quite fit enough to play the full 90 minutes and was replaced by Willian at half-time, but early signs indicate that he will carry his World Cup-winning form into the 2014-15 season.
Oscar was a surprise omission from the starting XI, with Cesc Fabregas taking his preferred No. 10 spot.
He joined the action at half-time and had a shot saved, but he will need to return to full fitness soon if he is to avoid being replaced as Mourinho’s first-choice No. 10.
Winner: Diego Costa
Diego Costa has exceeded expectations so far this summer. His brace against Sociedad made it four goals from six pre-season matches, and he looks like living up to the legend of being the striker that Chelsea so desperately need.
His awareness and positioning for the second goal showed a sharpness that the Blues’ strike force has lacked in recent years.
Although the competitive nature of the Premier League will offer a different challenge to the ones he has faced so far, Costa certainly seems ready to prove any doubters wrong.
Loser: Victor Moses
Victor Moses’ inclusion in Chelsea’s 25-man squad has been somewhat surprising after he spent the 2013-14 season on loan at Liverpool.
He was the only outfield player not to get onto the pitch, indicating that he is likely to be sacrificed to ensure the Blues’ compliance with Premier League and Champions League foreign player caps.
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