MORE than 55,000 fans turned out to watch Chelsea beat Perth Glory at Optus Stadium last night in new Blues coach Maurizio Sarri’s first game in charge.
Chelsea burst out of the blocks with a fifth-minute goal to Pedro in front of 55,522 fans at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Monday night.
But the 2018 FA Cup winners failed to add to that tally, with Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy pulling off a string of fine saves to deny the English Premier League powerhouse.
Chelsea also hit the post two times, and Glory threatened to snatch an equaliser late in the match after producing a series of promising attacking raids.
Sarri only took over as coach from Antonio Conte earlier this month, and he always knew it would take time to get his team into the swing of things.
But it’s off the field where the Italian now needs to work his magic, with stars such as Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, and Willian all reportedly on the verge of leaving Chelsea.
Sarri says he hopes to speak to them all face to face by the end of the month, and he’s optimistic they will stay.
“I’d like to talk to a person face by face. I don’t like to talk to a person by telephone,” Sarri said.
“It’s clear that for me it’s a pleasure to have Courtois, to have Willian, to have Hazard. But it doesn’t depend on me, not only on me. So we have to wait.”
Chelsea dominated the first half, but Glory more than held their own in the second half.
“I’m satisfied about the first half, and the first 15 minutes of the second half, not for the last 30 minutes,” Sarri said.
New Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic gave game time to new recruits Juande, Ivan Franjic, Fabio Ferreira, Jason Davidson, and Brendon Santalab.
Davidson was impressive at left back, Ferreira gave Glory spark in the second half, while Santalab almost snatched an equaliser near the end of the match.
“All round it was a good night for us,” Popovic said.
“It’s still pre-season, we’ve got no injuries and the spectacle was excellent.
“It’s something we should all remember.
“I think in general the effort, the work-rate, the commitment from the players I terms of what we’ve been trying to do was excellent.
“They should take a lot from it. We’ll learn from the experience.”