Udinese 1-3 Chelsea: Raheem Sterling scores first goal in preseason win

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Raheem Sterling scored his first goal for Chelsea against Udinese  (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Raheem Sterling scored his first goal for Chelsea against Udinese (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Raheem Sterling scored his first goal for Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel’s side finished preseason with a win away at Udinese on Friday night.

Tuchel last season hailed N’Golo Kante as Chelsea’s Mohamed Salah and, with goals like the opener in north-eastern Italy, it’s easy to see why.

Driving through the lines, the midfielder chose not to free Marcos Alonso (often Chelsea’s most creative player despite wanting to leave for Barcelona) and instead opted to shoot himself, firing beyond Marco Silvestri and into the bottom right corner.

With Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz guilty of missing chances both before and after Kante’s strike, Tuchel’s big praise a few months ago took on yet more relevance.

Kante’s midfield partner Jorginho was also hugely involved during the opening 45 minutes and teed up Sterling, who first sat Silvestri down before firing right at him. Luckily for the big summer signing, the ball deflected back off him and looped over the ‘keeper.

Gerard Deulofeu pulled one back from the home side, pouncing on a poor Edouard Mendy save after Roberto Perrerya, who caused problems all evening, had caught the defence napping.

The second-half brought yet more missed chances from Sterling, Havertz and Mount, albeit they were after some encouraging build-up play, as well as some intense pressing, between the three.

That was until the introduction of Callum Hudson-Odoi, who gave Chelsea much more in the way of dynamism at right wing-back. During the dying embers of the game, the winger dropped his shoulder, took on his marker crossed in for Mount to tap in a third.

Hardly the most clinical performance in the world but some order restored after the loss to Arsenal in Orlando.

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