The Blues booked a spot in the International Champions Cup semifinal on Sunday by beating Inter Milan in Indianapolis tonight. Their next opponent will now be Inter’s closest rivals, as AC Milan beat Valencia 2-0 to get the tournament underway. The final is on Wednesday in Miami.
The encounter got off to a pedestrian start, the best opening during the first 10 minutes falling to summer signing Marco van Ginkel after John Terry’s pass over the top. Fredy Guarin went within inches from giving Inter an 11th minute lead with a spectacular volley from the edge of the box. And just two minutes later Chelsea took the lead with an equally impressive effort from Oscar. His shot curled right into the top corner of the net in the 13th minute, capping a move begun by a powerful run by Victor Moses.
“Oscar has been with us for five days because of the Confederation Cup,” returning Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho said. “We’ve worked a lot on our movement, and it will help us in difficult situations. It’s good to see in matches what I see in training. I want him to be a top player, not just a top talent.”
Petr Cech preserved Chelsea’s lead eight minutes later with a finger tip save from Rodrigo Palacio’s long-range effort that took a wicked deflection off Gary Cahill.
Oscar missed a good opportunity to double his and Chelsea’s tally for the night after being put clean through by Cahill, but this time the Brazil forward fluffed his lines in front of goal firing over the bar from 12 yards.
Chelsea doubled its lead in the 29th when Hazard converted a penalty. Alvaro Pereira clearly tripped Moses’ darting run into the box, but replays clearly showed contact occurred outside the penalty area, Inter were furious with the decision, Pereira was even booked for his remonstrations. And Hazard compounded the Serie A side’s misery, sending Handanovic the wrong way to give Chelsea a two-goal lead.
The pre-season encounter turned ugly in the 58th minute, though, thanks to Campagnaro’s X-rated lunge on Terry. The tackle sparked a mass confrontation between both sides before the Italian was given his marching orders.
Luiz, Mikel, Azpilicueta and Demba Ba were all sent on by Mourinho for the final 25 minutes as Chelsea looked for more goals against Inter’s 10 men. Ba went close in the 66th minute, firing wide from Mata’s cross before Torres and Ryan Bertrand were introduced the 72nd minute. And Torres forced substitute goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo into a comfortable save after marauding run through the heart of the Serie A side’s defence ended with a tame shot as the Chelsea cruised to victory.
Mourinho, coaching against Inter for the first time since he left the Italian club for Real Madrid, was disappointed at the expulsion. “The first half was very good for both sides,” Mourinho said. “The red card changed (the game) completely. Not good for them because they played with 10, and not good for us, because we played against 10.”