Chelsea 0 AC Milan 1: Torres makes Blues return but Emanuelson has the last word
07:41 GMT, 29 July 2012
Fernando Torres made his Chelsea return in Miami – but the 50million man could not stop the Blues from ending their US tour with a defeat.
The Spain international played 30 minutes of the clash against AC Milan in the Sun Life Stadium – home of the Miami Dolphins – his first appearance of the Blues' pre-season.
But Urby Emanuelson's second half-strike was enough to condemn the Blues to their second consecutive Stateside defeat ahead of their flight home.
Challenge: Frank Lampard is held up by match-winner Urby Emanuelson
CHELSEA: Cech; Ivanovic (Hutchinson), Terry (Cahill), Luiz, Cole (Ferreira); Mikel, Lampard (Essien), Meireles (Marin); Hazard, Ramires (Malouda); Lukaku (Torres)
AC MILAN: Ameila; Antonini (Abate); Bonera; Yepes (Acerbi); Mesbah; Traore (Constant), Flamini (Montolivo), Ambrosini (Nocerino); El Shaarawy, Emanuelson; Boateng (Valoti)
The big Chelsea team-news came from
the bench, Fernando Torres making his first appearance on the Blues
team-sheet since helping Spain win Euro 2012.
Chelsea's final game of their US
pre-season tour got off to an uneventful start, with either side
struggling to gain the early advantage.
John Terry had the first real effort
of the encounter, firing a difficult half-volley from the edge of the
box from Branislav Ivanovic's header in the eighth minute.
Hazard showed a glimpse of his
32million worth in the 11th minute as he easily ghosted past Bakaye
Traore and Luca Antonini in the box before his fierce strike was
deflected wide for a corner.
On the run: Mario Yepes and Mathieu Flamini combine to thwart Romelu Lukaku
The searing Miami heat was not
conducive to a fast, free flowing game – and it certainly showed as both
sides seemed happy to merely go through the motions during the opening
Traore sent a long range effort wide
of Petr Cech's post in the 27th minute as AC Milan upped the tempo of
their play ever so slightly before Urby Emanuelson nearly played former
Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini through.
Emanuelson missed the first real
chance of the match in the 34th minute, firing over from 12 yards after
being sent clear through by Kevin-Prince Boateng with just Cech to beat
as the first-half ended goalless.
Di Matteo made just one change at the
break, Marko Marin replacing Raul Meireles, allowing Hazard to take a
more central role in the second-half.
Hard-fought: Ramires goes shoulder-to-shoulder with Emanuelson
And the Italian manager's heart was in
his mouth just seconds after the restart as Daniele Bonera left the
Belgian holding his ankle in pain with a mistimed challenge.
Jon Mikel Obi then saw his long range
effort comfortably saved by Marco Amelia as the European champions
started the second period with much more zest.
But Milan responded, Cech being forced into a good low save from Emanuelson after the Dutchman was found by Flamini.
Romelu Lukaku and Hazard combined to
set-up Frank Lampard, whose 25 yard strike was again well held by Amelia
in the 54th minute.
Di Matteo made a treble substitution
in the 60th minute, bringing on Torres – whose introduction was greeted
with huge cheers – Paulo Ferreira and Gary Cahill.
Pain game: Branislav Ivanovic suffers in the heat
Milan coach Massimilano Allegri made
four changes of his own, with Antonio Nocerino, Francesco Acerbi,
Ricardo Montolivo and Ignacio Abate all came on.
David Luiz glanced a near post header
from Lampard's corner over in the 68th minute, but it was Milan who took
a deserved lead a minute later.
Emanuleson burst clear of the Chelsea defence before squaring to Stephan El Shaarawy, whose shot was well saved by Cech.
But the Holland international coolly stroked home the rebound from close range to put the Serie A side a goal up.
Substitute Mattia Valoti came close to
doubling Milan's lead in the 75th minute – but his clever effort from
deep inside the box was saved by Cech.
Hazard blasted a free-kick from the edge of the box high and wide in the 86th minute as Chelsea searched in vain for a leveller.