Birthday boy Pedro scores but Chelsea need penalties to beat Inter
International Champions Cup, Allianz Riviera - Chelsea 1 (Pedro 11') Inter Milan 1(Gagliardini 49')
Pedro marked his 31st birthday with a goal as Chelsea opened their International Champions Cup campaign with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Inter Milan in Nice, after the sides couldn't be separated in normal time.
The Spain international broke the deadlock with a simple tap-in after 11 minutes - a goal which was beautifully crafted by Alvaro Morata - as Chelsea deservedly led at the interval after a dominant first-half performance.
But all of their good work was undone moments after the restart when substitute Tiemoue Bakayoko, with his first touch, conceded possession in his own half and Roberto Gagliardini capitalised with the equaliser, though goalkeeper Willy Caballero should have kept it out.
Both sides created and spurned opportunities to win the game and in the end the winner was decided by a penalty shootout, with Cesar Azpilicueta scoring the decisive spot-kick after Caballero saved Milan Skriniar's effort.
Has Morata played his way into Sarri's starting XI? After an indifferent campaign last season with the Blues, Morata will feel he has a point to prove to his new manager. And on this showing, the Italian will be impressed with the former Real Madrid forward. He looked sharp from the off and showed terrific desire, flair and vision to create his side's opening goal. Antonio Conte obviously didn't trust him, but we may well see a different player this season if Sarri gives him a chance to play on a consistent basis.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea): The 17-year-old produced yet another explosive and exciting performance. With no sense of fear, the youngster used his blistering pace and quick feet to create numerous chances for his team mates. He has had a great pre-season, but will Sarri give him an opportunity once the Premier League campaign begins? The Englishman deserves a shot.
Chelsea: Bulka 7, Zappacosta 5, David Luiz 6, Ampadu 6, Alonso 6, Jorginho 7, Fabregas 5, Barkley 5, Pedro 7, Hudson-Odoi 8, Morata 8. Subs: Caballero 6, Azpilicueta 7, Rudiger 5, Emerson 6, Christensen 5, Moses 5, Drinkwater 6, Piazon N/A, Bakayoko 4, Abraham 7.
Inter: Handanovic 7, D'Ambrosio 5, De Vrij 6, Skriniar 6, Dalbert 5, Gagliardini 7, Emmers 5, Candreva 8, Politano 7, Asamoah 5, Icardi 6. Subs: Ranocchia 5, Karamoh 7, Salcedo 5, Roric 5, Zappa 5, Martinez 7.
11' - GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Inter: It's the birthday boy Pedro who grabs the goal but it's beautifully crafted by Morata! The Spain international shows a gritty determination as he shrugs D'Ambrosio off the ball at the by-line and twists and turns to fire a shot away. It's saved by Handanovic but only into the path of Pedro who taps it home.
36' - MISS! Dear me, what an opportunity for Inter but it goes begging! Candreva gets the better of Alonso, beating the Chelsea full-back for pace, before cutting the ball into the centre for Politano. The Inter forward has all the time and space in the world but unforgivably blasts it wide of the target.
49' - GOAL! Chelsea 1-1 Inter: A comedy of errors from Chelsea's subs allows Inter back into the contest! Bakayoko mis-places a simple five-yard pass and Icardi picks up the ball, accelerates forward and feeds Gagliardini on the overlap. Caballero's positioning is completely wrong and he is easily beaten by Gagliardini's strike.
82' - SAVE! Yet another moment of magic from the 17-year-old Hudson-Odoi as he skips away from his marker into space and tees up Jorginho for a shot. His curled effort is destined for the top corner but Handanovic does remarkably well to make a finger-tip save.
86' - MISS! Emerson drives down the flank and drills a low cross across the face of goal but somehow Abraham misses from three or four yards!
90'+1 - FINE SAVE! Caballero does well to turn away Martinez's powerful shot! And that is surely the last chance. A penalty shootout looms.
Penalty shootout: SAVED! Caballero guesses the right way to save Skriniar's effort with his legs. It's still 3-3.
Penalty shootout: WINNER! Azpilicueta bags the winning penalty. Chelsea win the shootout 5-4.