Football-Mueller double helps Bayern see off Chelsea in Singapore

Football-Mueller double helps Bayern see off Chelsea in Singapore
The International Champions Cup Singapore, Chelsea v Bayern Munich, at the National Stadium, Singapore on July 25, 2017. Bayern Munich's players thank their supporters after the match.
PHOTO: Reuters

SINGAPORE - Bayern Munich playmaker Thomas Mueller scored two sublime goals as they capitalised on a fast start to edge Chelsea 3-2 in the opening match of the International Champions Cup Singapore friendly tournament on Tuesday.

Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti had implored his side to show improvement following a 4-0 drubbing by AC Milan in Shenzhen last week and his players answered the call with a scintillating opening spell as they raced to a 3-0 lead in 26 minutes.

Chelsea, who gave a debut to their new Spanish striker Alvaro Morata, adopted the 3-4-3 formation that served them well on their way to the Premier League title in May but a sluggish start left them with too much to do against a rampant Bayern.

German forward Mueller struck twice after Rafinha put Bayern ahead in the sixth minute before Chelsea pulled a goal back through Marcos Alonso on the stroke of haltime and added a late consolation from Michy Batshuayi who was set up by Morata.

The German side's tactics were to sit back and punish Chelsea on the counter and the plan worked wonders with new signing James Rodriguez, Mueller and Franck Ribery able to unlock the English champions' defence with alarming ease.

After a fairly pedestrian opening, Bayern full back Rafinha scored for the German champions, cutting in from the right wing and drilling home a low drive into the opposite corner past sprawling Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Bayern looked irresistible and doubled the lead six minutes later when Ribery skipped past Cesar Azpilicueta on the left side of the penalty area, then dinked over an inviting cross for Mueller to volley home his first goal from close range.

Rodriguez appeared comfortable in a roaming role behind Polish striker Robert Lewandowski and although the Colombian spurned several chances to extend Bayern's lead, Ancelotti would have been pleased with what he saw of his new recruit.

Mueller then made it 3-0 with a spectacular long-range effort after 26 minutes when the German international strolled forward from halfway towards a passive Chelsea defence and unleashed a curling shot past Courtois from 25 metres.

"It was a really nice reaction by the side after the result against Milan so we are very happy and everything is going good," Mueller said in a pitchside interview.

REGULAR SUBSTITUTIONS

Chelsea had been completely outclassed but hauled themselves back into the contest on the stroke of halftime when left back Alonso latched on to Victor Moses' low cross from the right and beat keeper Tom Starke with a low, crisp shot.

Both sides made regular substitutions in the second half with Chelsea bringing on Morata, a reported 70 million pound (S$125 million) recruit from Real Madrid on Friday, who looked sharp despite only joining up with his new team on Monday.

The Spaniard made an almost instant impact when he nodded on a corner to allow Batshuayi to stab home from close range in the 86th minute but Bayern held on for victory in front of 48,500 fans packed into the Singapore National Stadium.

"It's too early to speak about Alvaro's impact as he's only been with us for two days," Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said.

"For us he is a good buy but we need to give him enough time to adapt to our methods and our style of football."

Inter Milan are the other team involved in the tournament and they will play Bayern on Thursday before rounding out the tournament against Chelsea on Saturday.

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