Radamel Falcao draws blank as Chelsea lose to Fiorentina ahead of Premier League kick-off

Colombian may be called upon in opening fixture with uncertainty over fitness of Diego Costa

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The Independent Online

Radamel Falcao failed to find the target during a concerning performance in Chelsea's final pre-season friendly last night.

The Blues lost 1-0 to Serie A side Fiorentina at Stamford Bridge.

Falcao played the best part of an hour but looked off the pace and failed to register a single shot before being replaced by Loic Remy.

Diego Costa played no part in the match with uncertainty over the Spain international's fitness ongoing.

Asked whether Costa would be fit for Chelsea's opening game of the Premier League, Jose Mourinho said: "I won't risk my reputation again. You asked me before last weekend and I told you he was ready to play. He wasn't. I don't know.

"I don't risk saying yes, and I don't risk saying no. On Friday at the next press conference I think I will tell you again that I don't know."

Should Costa be absent, it will fall on Falcao and Remy to lead the line for Chelsea. Whilst Remy managed to score seven goals in the 21 Premier League appearances when he was called upon last season, Falcao is yet to score in open play during any of his pre-season appearances since joining Chelsea.

However, Mourinho retains belief in the player who scored just four goals for Manchester United last term.

"He's very good for the situation," the Portuguese boss said. "He's played in the America Cup (Copa America), been on holiday and has had only one week of training - not the three that the others have had.

"Today I took him off in his best moment. It was exactly when he was in his best moment in the game. I am happy with the evolution. Very happy to be fair."

Mourinho also played down the defeat to Fiorentina: "We have the real football on Saturday and today we couldn't face this game in another way," the 52-year-old told Chelsea's website.

"We got competitive minutes against a good team who played for a result and gave us a very good training session.

"It's a long season with 10 months of competition, and I'm happy with where we are."

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