Fiji Time: 6:55 PM on Sunday 23 November

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Chelsea starts tour with a win in Singapore

Afp
Friday, July 19, 2013

BANGKOK - Romelu Lukaku handed Jose Mourinho a winning start to his new reign as Chelsea manager on Wednesday with a perfectly timed debut goal after the club confirmed a bid for Wayne Rooney.

The towering Didier Drogba look-a-like drilled a first-half penalty to give new-look Chelsea a 1-0 win over the Singha All-Star XI, who humbled Manchester United by the same scoreline last week.

Lukaku, who starred on loan with West Bromwich Albion last season, has vowed to fight for his place even if Chelsea sign a striker of the calibre of Manchester United's unsettled forward Rooney.

And his goal, on a night of promising debut performances by Chelsea's new signings in Bangkok, comes after the club ended widespread speculation by confirming a bid for the England forward.

Chelsea played with their shirt names and numbers in Thai but home goalkeeper Narit Taweekul nearly went further with the generosity when he palmed a loose ball against the crossbar.

Kevin De Bruyne was a chief threat on his debut, after returning from a loan spell at Werder Bremen, and he whistled a thunderous shot past the uprights on 23 minutes.

Lukaku was also posing problems early on and he forced a sharp save from Narit after galloping through one-on-one on the half-hour.

But the first goal of Mourinho's new era came from the spot after right-back Wallace, the new signing from Fluminense, went down under a challenge in the box.

And Lukaku made no mistake with his left foot as he drove the penalty low and to the 'keeper's right for his first goal in a Chelsea shirt, with 35 minutes gone.

The 1.93m Belgian might have had another but Narit was again equal to his first-time shot in the box six minutes before half-time.

Both teams switched nearly their entire teams at half-time — with Mourinho retaining only De Bruyne — and it was a disjointed second period from the Blues.

Eden Hazard's free kick drew a strong save from incoming 'keeper Thanongsak Panpipat, and Branislav Ivanovic nearly bundled another set-piece over the line at full stretch.

Hazard was nearly on target again shortly afterwards but his shot became tangled in the legs of 18-year-old debutant Nathaniel Chalobah.

Chelsea now head to Kuala Lumpur and then Jakarta as they continue their build-up to the new season under Mourinho.

The 'Happy One' won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup during his first stint at Chelsea, before successful stints at Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

United are reported to have rejected Chelsea's bid for Rooney, despite new manager David Moyes describing him as a back-up for Dutch marksman Robin van Persie.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. $50m more
  2. Sturridge out for the season
  3. This team is much fitter than Gold Coast winning team says Ryan
  4. Chaudhry describes budget as 'ambitious and unrealistic'
  5. Boxing: Loss ends Cameron's career
  6. Three drown
  7. Fijians win
  8. Fiji's return anticipated
  9. FCEF: Budget to help Fijians
  10. Alcohol duty up by 10pc

Top Stories this Week

  1. Tourist's death: Murder accused to appear in court Monday (17 Nov)
  2. Stabbed to death Tuesday (18 Nov)
  3. Prime Minister Modi arrives in Fiji Wednesday (19 Nov)
  4. Kill victim cried for help Tuesday (18 Nov)
  5. The man behind the scene Monday (17 Nov)
  6. Bula Mr Modi Wednesday (19 Nov)
  7. Man found unconscious, dies in hospital Monday (17 Nov)
  8. Modi-fied Thursday (20 Nov)
  9. Modi announces visa on arrival for Fiji people Wednesday (19 Nov)
  10. WHAT FIJI WILL GET Thursday (20 Nov)