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Barcelona 1-2 Chelsea: Blues Defeat Catalans To Win Rakuten Cup In Japan
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Barcelona 1-2 Chelsea: Blues Defeat Catalans To Win Rakuten Cup In Japan

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Antoine Griezmann was on the losing side on his debut as Chelsea defeated Barcelona 2-1 in Saitama, Japan to win the Rakuten Cup.

Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley scored for Frank Lampard's Chelsea while Ivan Rakitic got Barcelona's consolation goal with a sublime strike.

The Blues who were playing their fourth game in preparation for next season earned a deserved win over their long-time foes who were playing their first game preseason.

Barcelona looked the brighter of both sides in the opening exchanges and could have taken the lead after just 2 minutes but Oriol Busquets failed to keep his header down from eight yards.

Chelsea then grew into the game and began to create chances of their own. Tammy Abraham who was given the nod to try and impress Lampard should have given the Londoners the lead on 23 minutes.

But the striker made a mess of the opportunity, skewing a rebound over after Christian Pulisic's shot caused havoc for Ter Stegen.

The 23-year-old who is auditioning for a place in the team next season however made up for the earlier miss when he scored the opener moments later.

Jorginho had dispossessed Busquests on the edge of the penalty area before finding Abraham who slotted into an empty net after rounding Ter Stegen.

Both Pulisic and Ousmane Dembele had chances to get on the score sheet, but the American rifled into the side netting, while a subdued Ousmane Dembele saw his low strike kept out by Kepa at the other end.

Barcelona made 11 chances at the break and that seemed to have an effect on the way they started the game in the second half.

Rafinha, Carles Perez, and Carles Alena all had their low drives saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa but the victory was sealed for Chelsea when Ross Barkley's low shot from 18-yards went in 9 minutes to the end of the game.

Rakitic scored with a thunderous strike late in the game to end the game on a positive note for the Catalans.

Chelsea's next game in preseason will be against Championship side Reading on Sunday, while Barca could come up against their former player Andres Iniesta when they take on Vissel Kobe on Saturday.