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Chelsea 2-1 Barcelona: Barkley and Abraham score as Spanish giants struggle in Messi absence

It was the perfect way to bring their trip to Asia to a close after being beaten by Kawasaki Frontale last week and their performance will give Frank Lampard optimism as the new season approaches.

The Premier League side always looked comfortable against a Barcelona team without Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi and goals from Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley ensured they were victorious.


Barcelona: Ter Stegen (Neto 46), Pique (Todibo 46), Umtiti (Lenglet 46), Jordi Alba (Jaime 46), Roberto (Alena 46), S. Busquets (Rakitic 46), Riqui Puig (De Jong 46), Collado (Malcom 46), O. Busquets (Semedo 46), Dembele (Perez 46), Griezmann (Rafinha 46).

Subs not used: Pena, Araujo, Monchu.

Goals: Rakitic 90+1

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta (Bakayoko 70), Christensen (Tomori 46), Luiz (Zouma 46), Emerson (Alonso 46), Jorginho (Drinkwater 70), Kovacic (Zappacosta 70), Pedro (Batshuayi 70), Mount (Barkley 60), Pulisic (Giroud 60), Abraham (Kenedy 60).

Subs not used: Caballero, Cumming, Palmer.

Goals: Abraham 34, Barkley 81

Antoine Griezmann, making his first start in a Barcelona shirt, looked lively in his 45-minute appearance.

He linked up well with Ousmane Dembele but will undoubtedly be looking forward to forming a devastating trio with Messi and Suarez when the competitive football begins.

The tempo to the game was far from that of a meaningless pre-season friendly early on.

Barca passed the ball at a frantic pace while Lampard’s side pressed their defence so high up the pitch that Marc-Andre ter Stegen barely had an option to pass it to.

Abraham was given the chance to prove his credentials for the regular No 9 shirt and looked sharp for 60 minutes.

The 21-year-old is looking to take up a more prominent role after spending last season at Aston Villa and he first missed a glorious chance from six yards out but responded by giving his team the lead.

Chelsea’s pressure was so suffocating that they even forced the usually ice cool Sergio Busquets to lose possession on the edge of his box.

Abraham reacted first to grab the loose ball, go past Ter Stegen and fire home into an empty net.

Carles Perez had an early opportunity to level things up. Some neat play on the edge of the box saw the ball eventually roll out to the left but Perez’s tame shot went straight into the hands of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Malcom, one of those fighting for this future at the Nou Camp, then tried his luck from distance but his powerful left-footed effort was also matched by an excellent diving save from Kepa.

Michy Batshuayi, another competing for the lone striker role, was given 20 minutes to impress and he missed a chance to double Chelsea’s lead.

The Blues wrapped things up though with around 10 minutes to play when Barkley collected a low pass from Marcos Alonso before squeezing a 20-yard strike in at the near post.

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