The second game of Chelsea’s Asia tour and another victory for Jose Mourinho, who will have been impressed by another eye-catching performance from Bertrand Traore, the 17-year-old midfielder who has not yet signed a professional contact at the club.
Traore scored the first for Chelsea and, operating on the right side of the attacking three, the teenager looks an intriguing prospect. He is not contracted to the club, although they hope to sign him when he turns 18. He has had interest from other clubs but remains, for the time being, committed to Chelsea.
Traore is a Burkino Faso international already and came on a substitute in Chelsea’s first tour game in Bangkok on Wednesday. On six minutes he played an excellent ball down the right channel to Kevin De Bruyne who got his cross back into the area. It was intended for Lukaku but it fell nicely for Traore at the back post who picked his spot.
The Shah Alam stadium holds around 65,000 but it was barely half full last night. Chelsea were aware that because the game fell during Ramadan they would be obliged to make the kick-off later in order to give those locals observing the fast time to attend evening meals and get out to the stadium. That in turn, the club believe, had an impact on the attendance.
The conditions were stifling again, although De Bruyne, among others got around the pitch well. The young Belgian has staked a very early claim to be in Mourinho’s thoughts when it comes to the coveted No 10 position behind the striker. He had already made quite an impact when he struck a fine goal from outside the area from Lukaku’s knockdown on 29 minutes.
De Bruyne injured his right knee in the act of scoring in the process and was replaced by Islam Feruz, the academy boy signed from Celtic. Lukaku scored the third just before half-time. He was played in on goal by Traore and finished with a coolness that will have been reassuring for Mourinho as he weighs up the young striker’s readiness to figure for the club this season.
Mark Schwarzer made his first appearance for Chelsea before the break and was only called upon to make one save from the Malaysia captain Mohd Razak. Mourinho changed his entire starting XI over the course of half-time and the second half and there was a chance for the young Englishman Josh McEachran who came on for Marco Van Ginkel with 23 minutes remaining.
Victor Moses, a half-time substitute, scored the fourth with a minute remaining. But there was time for one goal for the Malaysian team which delighted the home crowd. Chelsea defended poorly from a free-kick and substitute Mohd Fadhli Shas headed in, the first goal against in Mourinho’s new era.
Malaysia: 1 (Shas 90)
Chelsea: 4 (Traore 6; De Bruyne 29; Lukaku 45; Moses 89)
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Schwarzer (Cech, 45); Ivanovic (Wallace 45), Chalobah (Cahill 45), Terry (Kalas, 45), Bertrand (Cole 45); Essien (Ramires 45), Van Ginkel (McEachran 67); Traore (Moses 45), De Bruyne (Feruz, 32 (Schurrle 45)), Hazard (Piazon 45); Lukaku (Ba 45).
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