Loic Remy’s sensational first-half strike proved enough to earn Chelsea a 1-0 victory in their post-season friendly against Sydney FC on Tuesday.
The France international drifted in from the right wing to rifle in from the edge of the penalty area after half an hour, with the home side unable to find a reply in front of a record crowd for football at the ANZ Stadium of 83, 598.
Jose Mourinho’s men were in control throughout, but squandered numerous chances to stretch their advantage and survived a scare in the 88th minute – Sebastian Ryall putting the ball in the back of the net only for the effort to be ruled out for a handball in the build-up.
With stars such as Eden Hazard, John Terry and Diego Costa all selected, it was little surprise that Chelsea made all the early running.
Costa’s mazy run in the opening stages failed to bear fruit as Vedran Janjetovic saved with his legs, before Remy saw an effort skim off the post.
The former QPR man made no mistake with his next effort to fire Chelsea in front, but Branislav Ivanovic had to be alert at the other end to keep out Alex Brosque on the line.
Jeremie Boga could have made it 2-0 when he blasted over as the game opened up, while Remy, Andreas Christensen and Nemanja Matic also came close to extending the lead.
Sydney very nearly punished those wasted opportunities in the closing stages, but a handball resulted in their equaliser being chalked off by the referee.
One negative for Chelsea was the withdrawal of Costa with an ankle injury after 40 minutes.
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