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Real Madrid 3 Chelsea 2: Hazard show too late for Blues

A Marcelo double and a stunning strike from Mariano Diaz helped Real Madrid to a 3-2 victory over Chelsea in the International Champions Cup as Eden Hazard’s late brace proved in vain.

European Champions Madrid were beaten 3-1 by Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, but it appeared as though the LaLiga giants were in store for a comfortable win in front of a bumper crowd of 105,826 at the Michigan Stadium.

Full-back Marcelo put Zinedine Zidane’s men in command with an unlikely brace, first seeing a long-range effort deflect in before adding a second with a cool finish.

The best was to come from Mariano, though, who let fly with a fierce 25-yard strike that left Asmir Begovic helpless, Madrid three goals to the good after 37 minutes.

However, Chelsea threatened a late comeback when impressive substitute Hazard, much criticised for falling well below his lofty standards last term, scored twice in the last 10 minutes.

It proved too little too late and new Chelsea coach Antonio Conte, a former team-mate of Zidane at Juventus, has just over a fortnight until their Premier League opener against West Ham and he will be keen to see a swift defensive improvement.

Zidane himself will want to see Madrid shore up at the back, but they showed plenty of positive signs going forward as they build towards the new LaLiga season.

Madrid went ahead in the 19th minute when Marcelo tried his luck with his weaker right foot and a deflection off Oscar left Begovic wrong footed.

The Brazil full-back had a look of disbelief when he scored again seven minutes later, coolly slotting past Begovic after a clever give and go with Marco Asensio.

There was time for another before half-time, though, and Mariano will certainly have caught Zidane’s eye after receiving a pass from Marcelo and taking a touch before aiming a superb, swerving shot into the top-left corner.

Half-time substitute Michy Batshuayi showed great footwork to weave into the Madrid box and was perhaps unlucky not to get a penalty after being clattered by Nacho.

Hazard reignited Chelsea’s chances with 10 minutes remaining by racing onto a ball over the top and rounding Ruben Yanez to slot into the unguarded goal.

And the attacking midfielder scored a similar goal in injury time, this time collecting Batshuayi’s throughball before again taking it past Yanez to score, but Madrid held out for the win.

Sat 30 Jul, 2016
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