Chelsea fell to a 2-1 defeat in the final leg of their pre-season tour of Asia against Inter Milan.
Goals from Stefan Jovetic and Ivan Perisic were enough to take the Serie A giants over the line, despite Geoffrey Kondogbia’s best efforts to peg his own side back with a 40-yard own-goal.
Losing in pre-season can often be a blessing, but only if you learn from your mistakes. Here’s five things that Antonio Conte can take away from Saturday’s game.
Morata is not a winger
Inexplicably, Conte opted to field our newest arrival out wide in order to play Michy Batshuayi down the middle. It would have been far more logical to field them both at the spearhead of the attack in a 3-5-2. Morata’s attacking talents are wasted out wide.
Wing-back reinforcements desperately needed
Neither Marcos Alonso or Victor Moses covered themselves in glory with their dismal performances against Inter. They remain the only natural options to occupy the left and right wing-back positions, and thus Conte needs to look to the market in order to provide them with competition.
Kante off the boil
N’Golo Kante needs to improve on the performances he has put in during pre-season, and fast. The previous two winners of the PFA Player of The Year award, Eden Hazard and Riyad Mahrez, both had disappointing campaigns the next time around. Kante needs to avoid that curse. Whether it’s a fitness issue, or he’s just going through a bad patch, he needs to shake it.
Hurry back Hazard
It’s no secret that Chelsea are considerably worse off without Hazard. He is our main creative outlet in the final third, and one of very few players in our squad who can make something happen from nothing. Rushing him back early from injury could prove to be disastrous, but the medical team need to pull off a miracle and get him ready for the start of the season.
Back three looking shaky
The trio of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill was the foundation of our success last season, but they were extremely unconvincing today. Antonio Rudiger’s arrival does not appear to have given them the kick up the back-side that they desperately need. All three of them need to get it together before the community shield.