English Premier League champions Chelsea beat Sydney FC 1-0 at a sold-out Olympic Stadium in Sydney and capped a successful Asian tour on Tuesday.
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho’s pre-match promise to play his strongest team against A-League runner-up Sydney FC was fulfilled as premier league player of the year Eden Hazard, captain John Terry, goalkeeper Petr Cech, and striker Diego Costa all started.
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Hazard, especially, impressed, and seemingly had the ball on a string as he slalomed through Sydney’s defensive lines time and again to the delight of the 83,598 crowd.
It was one of Chelsea’s other first-team stars, Loic Remy, who produced a powerful strike on the half hour to find the top corner for an entertaining game’s only goal.
”I’m happy with the performance of my senior players because it’s been a very long season, Mourinho said. ”You could see some tired performances. People like (Branislav) Ivanovic, John Terry, (John Obi) Mikel, Eden, they tried to play football.
”I’m sorry that we couldn’t give more but it was the last game of the season and couldn’t be better.”
Remy’s goal brought the game to life with Sydney having an immediate chance to draw level but Ivanovic acrobatically cleared Shane Smeltz’s goal-bound effort in what was Sydney’s best chance of the opening half.
Sydney, which lost 1-0 to Tottenham in front of over a 70,000 crowd on Saturday, had some late opportunities for an equalizer and defender Seb Ryall’s goal was ruled out for offside as Chelsea tired.
Chelsea beat a Thailand All Stars team 1-0 in Bangkok on Saturday, with Mourinho using the opportunity to field many of the squad’s younger players.