CFC IN USA – DAY TWO

The first stateside matchday arrived quickly, on just our second full day after arriving from London.

Waking up in Washington, the squad breakfasted together before departing for the airport, making the 75-minute flight to Indianapolis after some airside security checks.

Upon arrival in our new home for the day, the squad was whisked away to another hotel to lunch and rest, while some staff took the opportunity to stretch their legs nearby.

More food was to come in the form of pre-match sustenance before a brief team meeting and a 6.20 departure to the Lucas Oil Stadium, a short bus journey away.

Upon arrival, everybody was impressed. Its steep sides with blue seating resemble Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu, so Jose Mourinho should certainly have been feeling at home. There was an overwhelming sense that Chelsea were the home side here too, and while the noise might not have matched that of Jakarta a week earlier, there were plenty of blue shirts and flags, with the local supporters club making themselves widely heard behind one of the goals.

Nearby, there was a Petr Cech wannabe, a fully grown man in full goalkeeper kit, helmet and luminous gloves. Ten out of 10 for effort, sir.

On the pitch the Blues ran riot, Victor Moses, Oscar and Eden Hazard ripping Inter apart at will in the first half while Romelu Lukaku hustled, bustled and bullied up front. In the second period it was good to see the returning Confederations Cup six all get a run out too, with plenty of positives to see.

Soccer - Guinness International Champions Cup 2013 - Chelsea v Inter Milan - Lucas Oil Stadium

Inter are a little behind us in terms of preparations for the forthcoming season, but nobody could accuse them of taking it lightly. Hugo Campagnaro’s full-blooded challenge on John Terry rightly saw him sent off, while their protests to the referee when Moses was awarded a penalty despite seeming to be brought down just outside the area were strong and prolonged.

Also of note was Christian Chivu’s helmet, the Romanian defender wearing his head protection since fracturing his skull during a game against Chievo in 2010. It is not infeasible that he and Cech might have swapped at the end of the game.

After the game, Mourinho and his staff spent time chatting with former colleagues, while players mingled freely. Serbian international colleagues Branislav Ivanovic and Zdravko Kuzmanovic exchanged a hug, while Fernando Torres chatted at length with Esteban Cambiasso.

Chelsea Inter Milan Soccer

Chelsea Inter Milan Soccer

A quick bite to eat was followed by a journey back to the airport and a return by air to DC. There is no training on Friday morning, but a session in late afternoon.

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