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Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 Chelsea: Five things we learnt as Ross Barkley impresses but Tiemoue Bakayoko flops in defeat

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Chelsea suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Kawasaki Frontale in their third pre-season match as they continue preparations for the upcoming Premier League campaign.

In hot, humid conditions, the Europa League winners created few clear-cut chances and were made to pay, when Leandro Damiao headed in on 88 minutes.

Frank Lampard suffered his first loss as Chelsea boss
Getty Images – Getty

It was a first loss for Chelsea under Frank Lampard, who would have been pleased his players got more minutes under their belts, but ultimately disappointed with a loss.

While these games are not necessarily indicative of what lies ahead, it showed there is still much for Chelsea to work on, while there were moments of promise.

talkSPORT.com takes a look at five things we learned from the Yokohama friendly.


Lack of goal threat

The departure of Eden Hazard has left Chelsea with a massive void that they will struggle to fill anytime soon.

In his final season, the Belgian netted 21 times and assisted a further 17, showing just how important and decisive he was.

Olivier Giroud is crowded out as he jumps for a header
Getty Images – Getty

In Yokohama, Chelsea lacked any real cutting edge with Michy Batshuayi starting the first-half, flashing one shot wide, and Olivier Giroud entering for the second 45, and while he is excellent in his role as target man, prolific striker he is not.

Tammy Abraham, who shone for Aston Villa, watched from the stands due to tonsillitis.

The fact right-back Davide Zappacosta had Chelsea’s first shot on target says it all and Lampard will hope for more efficiency against Barcelona on Tuesday.


Barkley and Mount impress

Lampard is a huge fan of Mount and rewarded him with a new five-year contract.

The 20-year-old has looked impressive since returning from Derby and offered flashes of his quality against Kawasaki Frontale as he began in the No.10 role.

Ross Barkley impressed for Chelsea
Getty Images – Getty

After the break, Barkley came on, with Mount moving to the left, and made an instant difference, with several probing passes, including two for Kennedy, who really should have finished at least one of them.

Barkley’s introduction gave Chelsea fresh impetus and Lampard will have been more than pleased with the performances of both men.


The Bakayoko conundrum

Tiemoue Bakayoko spent last season on loan at AC Milan following a disastrous first season at Stamford Bridge.

While he took time to settle in Italy, he soon found his feet and showed much of the quality that made Chelsea buy him from Monaco in 2017.

However, the Frenchman is simply not good enough to play for Chelsea.

His decision making leaves so much to be desired and in the Premier League, this lack of decisiveness will cost Chelsea dearly if they are to persist with trying to get the best out of him.

Coming on for Mateo Kovacic, Bakayoko looked ponderous and struggled to assert any authority, choosing to run with the ball as apposed to passing it, which is worrying against opposition of this calibre.

Tiemoue Bakayoko in action against Bohemians in an earlier pre-season friendly
Getty Images

Pulisic debut

It was a first appearance in a Chelsea shirt for Christian Pulisic and he made a positive contribution when he did come on.

A couple of driving runs down the left and a willingness to get the ball in first time, is something Chelsea fans can expect to see more of once the American international grows into the team.


Zouma here to stay

Last season, Kurt Zouma spent the season on loan at Everton and at one point, it looked as if he may move from Chelsea for good.

But, the appointment of Lampard has changed that, with the manager wanting Zouma to stay put.

“In terms of Kurt Zouma, he’s a very good defender for us, very good player, very good person and professional,” he said.

“I want him here, simple as that. We are competitive with the centre backs we have in the team and he had a very good season at Everton and I can understand why they want him.

“He’s a Chelsea player and I want him.”

While there will be much sterner tests in front of him, Zouma looked more than comfortable at the back and will play a vital role in in what will be another hectic year.





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