Chelsea v Paris St-Germain – Match Preview – World Football Challenge – 22 July 2012
Chelsea play their second match of their 2012 USA pre-season tour against French side Paris St-Germain on July 22, 2012. The match is part of the World Football Challenge featuring teams from across Europa and North America.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo
‘The challenge will be to integrate the new players that we have signed for the next years and continue to build on the foundation we laid down last season.’
‘I don’t think we have to radically change everything, it will be little adjustments as we had a successful end to the season and that is the way forward.
‘The players that we have signed are technically gifted players and they have very good combination link-up play. They also have dribbling ability to beat an opponent one-v-one so it is going to be good for us to have these different options. Last season we maybe lacked a little bit in being able to create superiority in certain games by being able to beat the opponent in a one-v-one situation.’
So far so good in the warm-up for the coming season but Di Matteo sees playing Paris St-Germain as a good barometer for the condition of his team at this stage, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side an emerging force in European football.
‘When you play teams like PSG or AC Milan it is a pre-season friendly but there is a little bit more than that because there is some prestige in the game as well, so the intensity and the tempo of the game will probably be higher than our first game.
‘It will be interesting to play the MLS All-Stars as well because there are some good players in that team, but it is also important we focus on ourselves and what we want to do to prepare ourselves for the beginning of the season.
‘It will be good to see Carlo Ancelotti, he was the assistant coach to Arrigo Sacchi when I was in the Italy national team so we have known each other for many years.
‘Certainly we have to take notice of what PSG are doing. They are going to be involved in the Champions League so could be an opponent and have signed some of the best players in the world.
‘We had a great experience in Seattle,’ he adds. ‘It was a great atmosphere and a very beautiful stadium and I was very pleased with the workout we got in the match against the Sounders.
‘They were good opponents and we had a good six days there, the training facilities were superb and the climate was excellent for pre-season.
‘Now we are looking forward to playing in the first soccer game in the Yankee Stadium and we are proud to be part of that. The New York crowd is going to an exciting crowd, I have had a walk here and there are a lot of people here who are soccer fans.’
Chelsea player Frank Lampard
‘Everyone at Chelsea has a lot of respect for Carlo,’ says Frank Lampard, who shared the Italian’s two seasons at Stamford Bridge.
‘He was an amazing manager and an amazing person, and it will be nice to meet up with him, as it will Paul Clement who was well liked by the lads, and Nick Broad the nutritionist and Claude Makelele as well.
‘Carlo winning the Double in his first season at Chelsea was amazing but I remember him as the man as much as anything because of how personable he was.
‘You could talk to him on a normal level and even the day he left the club he had a couple of beers with some of the lads. He was just a gentleman through and through so I have very fond memories of his time here.’
‘He was very experienced and he had a lot of words of wisdom at important times because of the teams he had been involved in, and the things he had won before.’
‘He has a sound business head on him as well and he can be a good club ambassador or whatever role he is asked to do. He was a great player and he was held in great respect here.’
‘Alex was a great player and another great lad.’
‘He was a fantastic defender and you won’t find a person at Chelsea who has a bad word to say about him. He was a fantastic pro and trained very hard and he was a really nice man. When he arrived he didn’t speak the language much but he made friends because he was a gentle giant.
‘I don’t think there is anyone in the game who hits the ball as hard as he does and he scored some fantastic goals for us. The one I remember most is the one at home against Liverpool in the Champions League to get us back in that game. I won’t want to be in the wall if he is taking free-kicks against us tonight!’
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Hutchinson, Cahill, David Luiz, Ferreira; Mikel,Lampard; De Bruyne, Hazard,Kakuta; Lukaku.
Subs Turnbull, Ivanovic, Chalobah, Terry, Cole, Essien, McEachran, Ramires, Malouda, Marin, Piazon.
PSG (4-4-2): Douchez; Armand, Alex, Jallet, Sakho; Pastore, Clement, Nene, Bodmer; Lavezzi, Gameiro.
Subs Areola, Le Crom, Bisevac, Tiene, Camara, Luyindula, Hoarau, Lagano, Maxwell, Verratti, Raibot.
Chelsea win – 5/4
Draw – 2/1
PSG win – 2/1