Relive Chelsea's 3-0 win over Arsenal as a brace from Michy Batshuayi helps the Premier League champions get their pre-season off to a winning start in Beijing.
By Barney Corkhill, Assistant Editor Filed: Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 11:30 UK
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 14:18 UK
Chelsea began their pre-season schedule with a comfortable 3-0 win over Arsenal at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing this afternoon.
The Premier League champions took a deserved lead through Willian five minutes before half time, and moments later had a second as Michy Batshuayi doubled their advantage.
Batshuayi added another at the start of the second half to make it three goals in less than 10 minutes of playing time, taking the match out of Arsenal's reach in the process.
Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage below.
11.30amGood morning! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's pre-season friendly between Chelsea and Arsenal in Beijing! This is a repeat of last season's FA Cup final and a dress rehearsal for the Community Shield match in two weeks' time as well, so these two sides will be very well acquainted by the time the new Premier League campaign kicks off. Team news should be filtering through any moment now, and as soon as it is out we will bring it to you.
11.32amWhile we wait for that team news to be released, allow us to join both clubs in reminiscing about recent meetings between these two London rivals. First up is Chelsea, who lead with a picture of Eden Hazard finishing off his superb solo goal in the Premier League meeting between the two.
11.36amIt is rare for these two sides to meet under such circumstances, but it will at least provide them with the opportunity to get an early look and one of their top-four rivals before the season begins. Both of these clubs are once again expected to be in the upper echelons of the table - although of course Arsenal will hope to be significantly closer to Chelsea this time around than they were last season.
11.38amIn addition to regaining fitness, pre-season matches like this help players to measure themselves against some of the best that they will be coming up against in the season ahead. More and more now you get pre-season games at a good tempo which is closer to a normal Premier League game rather than solely being a friendly to gain fitness. Hopefully we will se plenty of Premier League-level action today too!
11.40amWe are now exactly an hour away from kickoff, which means that team news should be imminent. It is a first lineup of the season for Chelsea - although it should be a relatively familiar one - while Arsenal's will also be interesting after a number of their squad were laid low by food poisoning this week.
11.42amNone of Chelsea's new signings are currently with the squad on tour, although Antonio Rudiger will join up with the team when they travel to Singapore after today's game. The likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic are also absent from the touring party - the former due to injury and the latter to amid uncertainty over their futures.
11.44amCHELSEA STARTING XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro
11.46amWhat can we make of that team, then? Well, it isn't a million miles from the side you might expect to start the new Premier League season next month, so Antonio Conte is by no means taking things slowly in this pre-season campaign. There were suggestions that he could give a run-out to some of the younger players - which most likely will be the case later - but from the start he has gone for a strong XI today.
11.48amThe back three which was so integral to Chelsea turning their season around last September starts once again, with Azpilicueta alongside Luiz and Cahill. This is, of course, the first match of Chelsea's post-John Terry era, but the skipper could not get into the side last season because of the form of the trio which starts this game, and new signing Rudiger also faces a battle to usurp one of those in the back three.
11.50amMoses and Alonso, who surprised plenty of people with the level of their performances at wing-back throughout last season, also start, while Kante and Fabregas will patrol the middle of the park. It is likely to be Bakayoko alongside Kante as Conte's first-choice XI when the season starts, but Fabregas is certainly a great player to have in reserve and he has the ability to pick a hole in any defence. Today sees him come up against his former club once again, of course.
11.52amWhile pre-season friendlies only have a limited amount of importance, for Michy Batshuayi this game is a chance for him to impress Conte before Morata joins up with the squad. Batshuayi didn't get much of a look-in last season, but he started to play a few more games towards the end of the season and memorably scored the goal which clinched the title for them once and for all. He will hope for more chances this term, and today is a good opportunity to show he deserves it.
11.56amArsenal have finally deigned to grace us with their team news, and the headline is that there is another start for Alexandre Lacazette up front. The club-record summer signing has already opened his account for the Gunners and this will be a chance to show he can do it against some of the best opposition too. Indeed, there is just one change to the front three from the win over Bayern as Alex Iwobi is rewarded for his late equaliser with a starting role ahead of Welbeck.
11.58amMesut Ozil makes up that front three, with Wenger sticking with the 3-4-3 system which helped them end last season on a high. Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has been heavily linked with a move away from the club this summer - with Chelsea one of the clubs rumoured to be interested - comes into the side at right wing-back, while Xhaka and Ramsey are in the middle - the latter of whom scored the winner when these two met in the FA Cup final in May, of course.
12pmNew signing Sead Kolasinac is among those to miss out having caught food poisoning earlier this week, although for the most part that problem looks to be behind Arsenal now. Mertesacker and Ramsey had both also struggled with it, but they are deemed fit enough to start today. Ospina gets the nod in goal, incidentally, despite Martinez coming off the bench and saving two penalties in the shootout win over Bayern last time out.
12.02pmFor Chelsea, this match is the beginning of their pre-season schedule, starting things off significantly later than a number of their rivals. The Blues have a long season ahead of them as they return to Champions League action in addition to their Premier League commitments, and it will be interesting to see whether they are up to speed in time for the new campaign.
12.04pmChelsea have played a few games behind closed doors during their two weeks since returning from their summer breaks, but they only have three pre-season fixtures scheduled before taking on Arsenal again in the Community Shield in two weeks' time. The club's dreadful campaign in 2015-16 was preceded by questions over their pre-season regime, and there may be more questions raised if they get off to a slow start this time around.
12.06pmChelsea are at least playing high-calibre opposition in their preparations for the new season. After today's match they will travel to Singapore for their leg of the International Champions Cup, where they will face Bayern Munich on Tuesday and then Inter Milan next Saturday. The new signings will also join up with their new teammates then, but that doesn't give them too long to gel in with the rest of the squad.
12.08pmAfter facing Arsenal in the Community Shield on August 6 Chelsea will begin their Premier League title defence at home to Burnley six days later. There are certainly worse opening-day fixtures available than that, but on the whole Chelsea have got quite a tough start to the new campaign. They take on Tottenham, Everton, Leicester, Arsenal, Stoke and Man City after the Burnley game, which means they will face four of last season's top seven in their opening seven games.
12.10pmChelsea fans will also be keeping a close eye on their Champions League assignments having booked their place in the competition after a year's absence. The draw for the group stages will take place on August 24, with the opening match taking place on either the 12th or 13th of September. Chelsea, of course, did not have to contend with the European football last season, so it will be interesting to see whether they can juggle it more successfully than the rest of the Premier League teams managed last term.
12.12pmChelsea were a little slow to get going with their summer business, leading to reports that Conte was unhappy at the club, but they have since brought in some very good players. Having missed out on Lukaku they have now sealed the signature of Morata from Real Madrid, while the arrivals of Rudiger and Bakayoko have strengthened the spine of the team even further.
12.14pmConte himself has now signed a new two-year deal with the club and, while it is no longer than his previously dea, it does help to end speculation over his future. Despite Chelsea's huge success last term there were persistent reports that Conte was homesick and wanted more control over transfers - something which could have seen him clash with Roman Abramovich - but he has now agreed improved terms.
12.16pmAntonio Conte wasn't the only manager to sign a new two-year deal this summer, although I would suggest that there were fewer dissenting voices from Chelsea fans than when Arsene Wenger signed his new deal at Arsenal. Following a season when calls for m to step down reached unprecedented levels, Wenger instead prolonged his stay at the club and will be in charge until at least 2019 now.
12.18pmThe main issue for Arsenal in recent years has been the feeling of Groundhog Day, with the club suffering a dip in form around February and going on to enjoy cup success without ever really threatening a serious title challenge. If anything it was even worse last term as Arsenal missed out on a place in the top four for the first time since Wenger arrived at the club, finishing fifth in the league before once again salvaging some success in the FA Cup.
12.20pmIt is likely to be another hugely competitive race for top-four football this season, and while Arsenal fans will be wary of getting their hopes up too much given recent experiences, the capture of Lacazette for a club-record fee suggests that Wenger has had a bit of a wake-up call after missing out on the Champions League.
12.22pmThe Gunners have even been in the chase for Kylian Mbappe, which is the type of ambition in the transfer market which has been lacking in recent years. The piece of business which could prove to be most important is whether or not they can keep Alexis Sanchez at the club, though. The Chilean is in the final year of his contract at the Emirates and so far there are no signs that he might commit his future beyond next summer, so Arsenal may need to decide whether to cash in on him or risk him leaving on a free next season.
12.24pmSanchez has been most heavily linked to Manchester City, but Wenger will be desperate not to let him join a direct rival if he can help it. PSG are also thought to hold an interest which would be a much more preferable move from Arsenal's point of view, although of course their main priority will be to keep the player. Sanchez is the most pressing contract concern, but the likes of Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain are in similar boats to him.
12.26pmIt will be interesting to see whether Arsenal make any more major moves in the transfer market in terms of bringing players in, particularly in defence. That area of the field was the main problem for them last season, with no side in the top seen conceding more goals throughout the Premier League campaign. Arsenal actually lost three matches more than any other team in the top six, which was clearly a huge factor in them missing out on the top four by just one point.
12.28pmThis is Arsenal's fourth pre-season fixture already, so you would expect them to be a little further along the road to match fitness than Chelsea today. The Gunners kicked things off with a trip to Australia, where they beat Sydney FC 2-0 and Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 before facing Bayern Munich in Shanghai on Wednesday. Having been thrashed by them over two legs in the Champions League last season, Arsenal rescued a 1-1 draw with a 94th-minute equaliser before winning on penalties.
12.30pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes away from kickoff in Beijing, which means that it is time for a prediction! Pre-season games re always difficult to call, but Arsenal should be closer to fitness than Chelsea today and that could give them the edge. I will go for a 2-1 Arsenal win!
12.32pmChelsea are something of a bogey team for Arsenal, who have only won three of their last 14 meetings against the Blues. They have lost eight times during that run, but they did win the most recent meeting in May's FA Cup final and another victory today would give them back-to-back wins over Chelsea for the first time since 2011.
12.34pmIt was one win apiece in the Premier League last season, with Arsenal's 3-0 triumph in September proving to be the turning point in Chelsea's campaign. During that game Conte switched to the 3-4-3 system which saw the club then go on a record-equalling winning run in the Premier League, and it was roles reversed by the time the teams met again in February, with Chelsea winning 3-1 on that occasion.
12.36pmChelsea have only lost seven of the last 34 meetings against Arsenal stretching back to 2004, winning 19 of those, but having lost two of the three meetings last season you could say that Arsenal currently hold the bragging rights between these two.
12.38pmRight, the players are out and we're almost ready to get going in Beijing!
1 minKICKOFF: Chelsea get us underway at the Bird's Nest Stadium!
3 minCHANCE! Chelsea were immediately on the front foot from the first whistle here and it is they who have made the much brighter start here. Moses is played in down the right channel by Fabregas but his finish is tame and straight at Ospina.
5 minArsenal are just beginning to settle into this game themselves now, knocking the ball about amongst themselves. They are not going anywhere particularly fast right now, though.
6 minGood defending from Maitland-Niles to deny Pedro when it looked as though the Chelsea man might have got past him, and then moments later the Gunners are on the attack down the left. Bramall is in space, but his touch lets him down.
8 minCHANCE! Another chance for Chelsea to open the scoring early as Maitland-Niles gives the ball away to Willian, who immediately pounces on it and races through on goal. There is no catching him, but with only the keeper to beat he rolls his finish narrowly past the far post.
9 minOzil is released by a fine pass down the right channel and he looks up to see Lacazette in the middle, but Luiz is there to cut the cross out and put it behind for a corner.
11 minGood spell of pressure from Chelsea, who are looking surprisingly sharp considering this is their first pre-season match. They look most likely to open the scoring at the moment.
13 minBrilliant from Pedro as he shows some dazzling footwork to skip away from two Arsenal defenders down the left flank before a third comes along and hoofs the ball away from danger.
15 minSHOT! More patient play from Chelsea as Fabregas works the ball into the feet of Batshuayi, who turns and shoots quickly but doesn't really catch his effort and it is easy for Ospina to gather.
17 minXhaka tries to pick out Ozil with a clever pass, but he puts just too much on it and it goes behind for a goal kick. Ozil would have been in there if the pass was just a little softer.
19 minThe playing surface doesn't exactly look ideal tonight, with the pitch cutting up at times and a few players losing their footing.
20 minSAVE! Batshuayi has another go at goal from just outside the area, but again he doesn't really catch his shot right and Ospina gathers once more.
21 minMonreal needs a bit of treatment here, and the players take the opportunity for a drinks break. It is very hot and humid inside the Bird's Nest Stadium today.
22 minCHANCE! Almost a chance for Arsenal as Ozil plays a clever pass inside for the marauding run of Ramsey, who throws himself at the ball to get a foot to it. In the end he can only poke the ball a few yards wide, but it was good play from the midfielder.
24 minOspina comes hurtling out of his goal to get to a floated ball over the top of the defence, clattering into Pedro. It was a nasty collision with the Chelsea man, who is down and needs treatment.
26 minArsenal actually got the free kick from that collision, but Pedro has ended up significantly worse off. It really was a heavy blow for the Chelsea man, but he turns down the stretcher and is now on his way off the field with blood streaming from his nose.
28 minThe game gets back underway with Chelsea a man down as Antonio Conte waits to see whether to make a change and bring Pedro off. He seems eager to continue, but it is not worth taking any risks in a pre-season friendly.
29 minCHELSEA SUB: Indeed, there is the change as Pedro is replaced by Jeremie Boga.
31 minThe referee calls another stoppage to the game for an official drinks break due to the heat and humidity in Beijing.
33 minWe're back underway again - still goalless after just over half an hour in Beijing.
35 minCHANCE! Chance for Chelsea to change that goalless aspect of the game as Willian races forward before unleashing an effort which is saved by the keeper.
36 minDISALLOWED GOAL! Batshuayi has the ball in the back of the net, but the celebrations are quickly cut short. Boga made progress down the left and played a low ball into the middle, but Batshuayi tucked it home from an offside position.
38 minWillian swings a corner into the box for Cahill, who has the time to take it down on his chest and get a shot away. He doesn't connect with it perfectly, though, and it is cleared away before it can test the keeper.
39 minBatshuayi hasn't found his shooting boots so far today. He once again tries his luck from outside the box, but this time he drags it well wide of the target.
40 minChelsea break the deadlock five minutes before half time, and it is a clinical finish from Willian. Batshuayi does well to skip away from one defender before playing the ball through for Willian, who cuts inside past Monreal before curling a finish into the bottom corner off the post.
42 minBatshuayi gets his own name on the scoresheet now, and once again it is a clinical finish. It is sloppy from Arsenal as they give the ball away inside their own half and Batshuayi collects it before immediately turning and curling a shot into the bottom corner. Two goals in as many minutes for Chelsea!
43 minArsenal are all at sea at the moment. Chelsea come forward again immediately after the restart and the ball drops to Batshuayi once more, but this time his effort is blocked.
45 minThere will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.
45+3 minCHANCE! Arsenal's best chance of the half comes right at the end as Oxlade-Chamberlain picks out Ramsey inside the area. The Wales international takes it down on his chest but then delays his shot before drawing a save from Courtois at the near post.
1.40pmThe referee brings an end to the first half, and it is Chelsea who go into the break with a deserved two-goal lead against their London rivals. The Blues got off to a quick start and enjoyed by far the better chances of the first half, with Arsenal looking quite a way short of Chelsea despite being further along in their pre-season preparations.
1.42pmThe opening goal arrived five minutes before half time when Willian finally made Chelsea's dominance pay with a clinical finish into the bottom corner. Batshuayi span away from his man in midfield before playing a through-ball to Willian, who was allowed to cut inside onto his stronger foot by Monreal. The Brazilian then curled his shot in off the inside of the post to give Chelsea the lead.
1.44pmThe second goal followed just two minutes later as Chelsea hit Arsenal with a quickfire double, and this time it was Batshuayi who got his own name on the scoresheet. It was another confident finish as the Belgian collected the ball on the edge of the area before curling it into the bottom corner. Batshuayi didn't think twice about what he would do, and he has gone some way to making a point with a goal and assist so far today.
1.46pmThere have been other chances for the likes of Moses, Batshuayi and Willian, whereas Arsenal's only chances have fallen to Ramsey so far - the best of which came right on the stroke of half time. Alexandre Lacazette in particular has struggled to make his mark so far tonight, although it must be said that he has not had much service to work with.
1.50pmWe're almost ready to get back underway for the second half in Beijing, but not before an admin error is sorted out. Olivier Giroud was not included on Arsenal's official squad sheet and Wenger is trying to bring him on, but he is not being allowed to do so by the officials!
46 minKICKOFF: Arsenal do eventually get us underway, complete with Giroud leading the line as one of a number of changes made at the break.
48 minAlmost an early chance in this second half for Arsenal as Ramsey clips a lovely cross in towards Giroud, who is just short of connecting with the ball.
49 minBatshuayi is certainly making a case for more of a role next season! He has his second of the game and it is a stunning strike from the Belgian too. Fabregas releases Monreal down the left and the Spaniard leaves Oxlade-Chamberlain on his backside when cutting inside. He then lays the ball back to Batshuayi, who curls it into the top corner first time.
51 minAllow me to try to clear up the subs that have taken place at the break - Arsenal have brought on Kolasinac, Elneny, Giroud, Welbeck, Koscielny and Coquelin, with Mertesacker, Monreal, Bramall, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles and Lacazette making way. Chelsea, meanwhile, have brought on Willy Caballero for Courtois.
53 minConsidering Chelsea have not played a proper pre-season game before this one, they have been hugely impressive here. They are fully worthy of their three-goal lead and look pretty ominous considering they don't have any of their new signings - or Hazard, Costa and Matic - in their ranks.
55 minChance for Arsenal to test Caballero here as Luiz brings Welbeck down right on the edge of the box. Free kick rather than a penalty, but a chance nonetheless...
57 minAfter a delay while the referee has words with Chelsea's wall, Giroud drills a low free kick into the foot of the wall.
58 minCLOSE! Better from Arsenal this time as Ozil collects the ball down the right channel before playing a low pass into the middle. Ramsey swings and completely misses it, but Giroud then pokes it back to Coquelin who drives a powerful effort narrowly over.
60 minGiroud gets forward down the left channel and tries to put the ball into the middle, but it is too close to Caballero, who gathers it comfortably. Arsenal are beginning to look more dangerous now, though.
62 minSAVE! Ospina is called into action again as Luiz's long ball forward releases Willian, who draws a save from the Arsenal keeper from a tight angle.
64 minJust under half an hour remaining in this match now, and Chelsea are in control thanks to their three-goal lead. Here is the third of those goals in all its glory...
66 minPoor from Alonso, who knows he can hit a ball better than this. He collects possession on the left flank but then drags a terrible effort well wide.
68 minSHOT! Giroud drives forward into shooting space before unleashing a powerful low drive, but it is always swerving away from goal and zips wide.
70 minARSENAL SUBS: Changes for Arsenal as Joseph Willock and Reiss Nelson come on for Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
71 minCHELSEA SUBS: Chelsea also make some changes as Lewis Baker, Kenedy, Loic Remy and Tomori come on.
73 minCHANCE! Almost a fourth for Chelsea as Fabregas picks out Tomori, whose first touch is perfect. His low strike is kept out by the feet of Ospina before bouncing back off a defender and eventually being cleared.
75 minYELLOW CARD! It's not often you see a card in these friendlies, but the referee has no choice here as Kolasinac drags down Baker cynically to prevent him racing through on goal.
76 minTime for another drinks break with 15 minutes remaining, and there will be more subs shortly too...
78 minCHELSEA SUBS: More Chelsea subs as Kalas, Christensen, Pasalic and Clarke-Salter come on.
79 minARSENAL SUBS: Martinez and Malen are also on for Arsenal now.
81 minLess than 10 minutes remaining in this one now and, despite Chelsea more or less having a team of youth graduates on the field now, there aren't any suggestions that Arsenal might pull off a memorable comeback in the closing stages here.
83 minThe Gunners do come forward here as Malen tries to get on the end of a pass into the box, but Christensen makes an important interception to poke it behind for a corner.
85 minAntonio Conte will be very happy with what he has seen from his side given their lack of match practice in pre-season, but for Arsenal there is work still to be done. This could bring them back down to earth after their win over Bayern.
86 minCHANCE! Chance for Arsenal to pull a goal back as the ball breaks to Nelson inside the area, but his effort from a tight angle strikes the outside of the post. Caballero looked to have it covered anyway.
88 minThis game has petered out somewhat, with that third goal at the start of the second half really killing it off as a contest. Everyone just seems to be waiting for the final whistle now.
90 minThere will be three minutes of added time at the end of this match.
2.43pmThe referee brings an end to proceedings in Beijing, then, and it is Chelsea who will be the happier team after that match. They begin their pre-season schedule with a comfortable 3-0 win over Premier League and London rivals Arsenal, with Willian opening the scoring before a brace from Michy Batshuayi took the game beyond the Gunners.
2.45pmRight, that is all we have time for today! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for this match as Chelsea cruise to a 3-0 win over Arsenal in Beijing. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for plenty more pre-season action over the coming days and weeks. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!