Chelsea struggled to shake off their cobwebs on their pre-season debut, but thankfully boast a star game winner in the form of Mason Mount.
Mexico’s Club America put up stiff opposition to the Blues in Las Vegas, and in the early stages at least, Thomas Tuchel’s lethargic players struggled to get a few passes together.
Gradually, they did their job together. Timo Werner opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second half after Tuchel swapped out the entire starting lineup at the break.
Chelsea won their pre-season match against Club America 2-1 in Las Vegas on Saturday
It was Timo Werner who opened the scoring at Chelsea shortly after the end of the first half
But even then, there was an embarrassment when a harmless back lane from Rhys James somehow found his way past Marcos Pettinelli into his net.
However, Mount will spare a defender’s blush of late, with a fine finish curled into the far corner after pasting previous challenges on the edge of the penalty area.
Tuchel’s thinking in his starting lineup was those who returned to pre-season as soon as possible after the June international matches.
It saw captain Thiago Silva alongside Trevoh Chaluba and Malang Sarr, with the forgotten Conor Gallagher sharing the forgotten Ross Barkley in midfield, with the forgotten Kennedy also as a winger.
The match came too early for summer arrivals Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, who will later appear on the pre-season schedule.
Werner celebrates with Ethan Ampadu after handing Chelsea the lead in Las Vegas
Mason Mount scored the winning goal for Chelsea from the corner of the penalty area in the 83rd minute
Chelsea, first half (3-4-3): Arrizabalaga. Shaloba, Thiago Silva (c), Sar; Kennedy, Barkley; Gallagher, Chilwell; Ziyech, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi
Chelsea, second half (3-4-3): Petinelli. Azpilicueta (c), Ampadu, Emerson; James, Mount; Jorginho, Alonso; Pulisic, Batshuayi, Werner
scorers: Werner 55; mountain 83
Reservation: Gallagher 35; Werner 90 + 2
Club America (4-5-1): Ochoa (Jiménez 33); Sanchez, Valdez, Caceres, Reyes; Aconio, dos Santos, Dam, Fidalgo, Lion; Martin (Valdes 62)
Alternatives: Araujo, Fuentes, Lara, Campos, S Martinez, Moreno, R Sanchez, Zendegas, R Martinez, Rodriguez
scorer: James (OG) 60
Reservation: Dam 3 Aconyo 27
With the roof mercifully closed in the 40-degree heat of the magnificent Allegiant Stadium, Chelsea nonetheless struggled to create an impressive first-half bargain.
Hakim Ziyech witnessed a low free kick from outside the penalty area that was pushed by the 37-year-old veteran Club America goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
In fairness to Chelsea, their opponents have already played three matches in the Mexican league season and their fitness levels have shown superiority.
Kennedy fired a shot wide of the goal, before Kai Havertz shot over it. Thiago Silva stops substitute goalkeeper Oscar Jimenez after touching Ziyech’s swing free kick.
It wasn’t until Tuchel made the decision to call up the cavalry at halftime and brought in Werner, Christian Pulisic, Marcos Alonso, Mickey Batshuayi, Jorginho, James, Emerson, Mount, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ethan Ampadu and Marcos Pettinelli, that Chelsea. I started to perform.
The changes allowed Chelsea to increase the intensity of the match and gave his best moves in the opening match to Werner.
Jorginho chose James on the right and controlled his chest before cutting the ball to the penalty spot, where Werner scored on the second attempt.
However, it did not last long because James’ straight back pass from the corner of the penalty area took out Chelsea goalkeeper, Bettinelli.
Arguably James should have simply played the ball forward under the touchline rather than backward, but the goalkeeper’s positioning was terrible.
Club America got the score sheet after Reece James (not pictured above) scored an own goal in the second half of the game
Midfielder Ross Barkley carries the ball forward as Chelsea look for more goals
Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta challenges Club America striker Henry Martin for the ball
However, James worked hard to try to redeem himself by communicating well with Mount under the wing. A series of passes between the pair saw Chelsea make their way into the Club America square but little of it came.
However, the Chelsea defender played a cross to Marcos Alonso – who took the ball and shipped it to Mount on the edge of the area.
The English midfielder controlled the ball and headed for the goal from the edge of the penalty area. It’s safe to say it was a success and it was an amazing result.
Chelsea are now heading out to play MLS Charlotte FC for their pre-season outing next week.
Relive the action with Sportsmail’s live blog for the pre-season match between Chelsea and Club America.
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