Tammy Abraham’s first half strike and Ross Barkley goal helped Chelsea beat Barcelona 2-1 at the ongoing pre-season tournament – Rakuten Cup on Tuesday, July 23, at Saitama Stadium 2002, Japan.
The encounter saw new Barcelona signing, Antoine Griezmann, in the starting XI for the Spanish champions but without the star man Lionel Messi, who is still on holiday as they kicked-off their 2019-20 pre-season.
Barca came close to opening the scores in the early minute of the contest, but Alex Collado could not direct his header after finding space inside the box.
After 20 minutes of action, the Blues had their moment too net the opener, but Abraham missed the target with his effort.
But after the half hour mark, the 21-year-old put the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen to hand Chelsea the lead.
Despite other chances at both ends, no other goal was scored at the end of the first half, with Abraham’s goal separating both teams going into the break.
Ahead of the restart of the second half, Barcelona made changes, with substitute Carles Perez coming close to net on two occasions.
And with the match approaching its closing moments, Michy Batshuayi almost doubled Chelsea lead, but Barcelona shit-stopper Neto was spot on to make a save.
However, minutes later, the Brazilian goalie could not stop Ross Barkley's curling strike outside the box for Chelsea’s second goal on the night.
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With the game heading into stoppage time, Ivan Rakitic reduced the deficit for the La Liga champions with a long range effort, but it was too late for a comeback as Chelsea claimed a 2-1 win at the blast of the final whistle.
Interestingly, Barcelona will now reunite with legendary player Andres Iniesta when they tackle Vissel Kobe on Saturday, July 27.
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