Chelsea squandered the chance to bounce straight back from their Community Shield setback after finishing pre-season with a 1-0 defeat to Fiorentina in the International Champions Cup.
Premier League champions Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal on Sunday and went into Wednesday’s clash seeking a positive response ahead of Saturday’s league opener against Swansea City.
However, manager Jose Mourinho made 10 changes to the side that started at Wembley – handing loan signing Radamel Falcao a first start – and that played a part in a disjointed showing at Stamford Bridge as the home team failed to register a shot on target in the first half.
Visitors Fiorentina, who start their Serie A campaign against Milan later this month, were rewarded for a sustained spell of pressure in the opening period when Gonzalo Rodriguez forced home the opener after Marcos Alonso’s original shot was saved.
That proved enough for Paulo Sousa’s men and it marks another impressive win for Fiorentina after defeating La Liga champions Barcelona 2-1 on Sunday.
Fiorentina were quick out of the blocks and Asmir Begovic had to make a fine save low to his right to keep out Matias Fernandez’s edge-of-the-box drive in just the second minute.
Chelsea responded and Ruben Loftus-Cheek showed great footwork in the area to beat two men before seeing his shot well blocked by Facundo Roncaglia.
As the half wore on Fiorentina enjoyed a good spell of possession and Matias Vecino was desperately unlucky to see a thunderous 25-yard effort cannon back off the crossbar, before Khouma Babacar also went close.
The pressure told in the 34th minute as Alonso found space on the left and his low shot was saved by Begovic and sat up kindly for Rodriguez to tap in the rebound.
Branislav Ivanovic was one of four Chelsea players brought on at half-time and the Serbian’s blushes were saved by an offside flag after putting a free header wide from eight yards from Oscar’s free-kick.
A series of substitutions from both sides meant there was little flow to the game in the second half, although Josip Ilicic saw a 20-yard shot deflected wide when the Chelsea defence sat off the midfielder.
Chelsea started to play on the front foot as the clock wound down and Gary Cahill twice headed straight at goalkeeper Luigi Sepe when in a promising position.
Loic Remy then curled wide of the right-hand post after working space in the penalty area, as time ran out for Mourinho’s side.
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