Singha 0 Chelsea 1
I only caught the second half of the first friendly of the Far East tour, a prior engagement had meant my presence was required elsewhere.
But what I saw showed me that Chelsea look to be in good stead for the coming season. Without those still resting up after the Confederations Cup, Jose Mourinho used the fixture t give some of the younger, fringe members of the squad a chance to show what they can do.
However, drifting away from the action on the pitch, it was fantastic to see the level of local support for the club with banners paraded confirming their allegiance to our wonderful institution, all a far cry from the Chelsea of twenty years ago and definite proof that we are one of the globes biggest names.
As it turned out, Chelsea did for Jose Mourinho what Manchester United couldn`t do for David Moyes, namely a win in the first match of their new tenures. On Saturday, United against a weaker Singa All-Stars side were defeated 1-0, whilst Chelsea won this encounter by the same score-line, courtesy of a penalty from Romelu Lukaku after our impressive Brazilian full-back, Wallace, had been hauled down in the box.
Others to impress on the day were Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Andre Shurrle and Maco Van Ginkel. But, in games like this, we accept that it is more about getting the fitness levels up and sharpening up than the result.
Beforehand, Mourinho had chirped that it would be great to start with a win but that it wasn`t the be-all and end-all if a win was not forthcoming. After the win, Jose had a lot to say, in particular about the Rooney chase, but sticking to what he`d seen on the field of play he commented to the media,
"Defensively we were very strong. We moved the ball quite well, but we didn`t create many chances."
"We are not sharp at the moment, we have a lot to improve, but it was okay - a good training session."
Because basically that is precisely how these games should be treated, as training sessions, but what a fantastic crowd this one was played out in front off!