BANGKOK – Chelsea kicked off their postseason tour with a 1-0 victory over Thailand All-Stars in Bangkok on Saturday.
A first-half goal from 17-year-old Dominic Solanke was enough to earn the Premier League champions a win over their opponents at the Rajamangala National Stadium.
The forward took his opportunity to impress by turning the ball home after 17 minutes with a confident half-volley from a low cross by defender Ola Aina.
Jose Mourinho opted to hand a Solanke and a host of youngsters a start, with Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, John Obi Mikel and Loic Remy the only regulars in the first-half XI against a side selected from among the best players in Thailand.
Solanke was named Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year last week after scoring 41 goals at youth level this season, and nearly added a second with a chipped effort that bounced just wide of the target on the stroke of half-time.
Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry, Nemanja Matic, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa were among Mourinho’s second-half XI as the Portuguese coach made 11 changes, with Hazard in particular receiving a warm reception from the Bangkok crowd.
Hazard and Costa both wasted presentable chances for the Premier League champions, while defender Andreas Christensen had to be alert to make a late goal-line clearance to preserve Chelsea’s lead.
Goal-scorer Solanke was brought on to the pitch for a second time late in the second half for Costa, while the teams needed regular drinks breaks to deal with the humid conditions.
First-half Chelsea XI: Cech, Aina, Ivanovic, Clarke-Salter, Ake; Mikel, Colkett; Remy, Boga, Brown; Solanke.
Second-half Chelsea XI: Blackman (Beeney); Azpilicueta, Christensen, Terry, Dasilva; Matic, Houghton; Musonda, Hazard; Diego Costa (Solanke).