CFC IN USA – DAY FOUR

After a few sizzling days in the States, it was rather refreshing to wake up on Saturday morning with a bit of drizzle filling the Washington air.

It made for easier training conditions for players who had gradually been acclimatising to the heat in Asia and America, and it made for an intense session.

Jose Mourinho, as we have become accustomed to, was heavily involved and constantly directing matters, first as he focused on building attacks and timing the movement of wide players and forwards, and then in a full-sided game condensed into a 40-yard pitch, with two goals at either end, encouraging swift changes of play from side to side in order to catch out the opposition.

Competition was fierce, with no quarter given by either side, and the will to win was never more apparent than when there were tenuous offside calls from makeshift linesmen Rui Faria and Steve Holland.

There was good news too in the presence of Frank Lampard, training with his team-mates for the first time since Asia, though he has been working hard in isolation, and he completed the full session, which ended with some penalty practice.

Watching the England midfielder from the spot, it’s impossible not to wonder what it is like to face one of his trademark penalties, hit low and hard to either corner. So, we did what anyone fortunate enough to be hanging around with the midfielder would do, and asked him to have a pop. From experience, this writer can tell you it is not particularly pleasant. Lamps can certainly get hold of a ball, and in the below video he tucks it away nicely to the goalkeeper’s right. The sound you can hear is the metal frame of the goal shaking as the ball hits the net.

What a secret Frank might not like shared is that it was actually the second take. His first effort went wide, much to his, and our amusement. Thankfully he’s pretty reliable first time around at Stamford Bridge!

Lampard’s reintegration to the group was not the only pleasing news for the players on Saturday, with Mourinho sparing them an afternoon session after their hard work in the morning.

The next action will be Sunday’s game against AC Milan in New Jersey, with the team travelling on the day as it did to Indianapolis. The game, which kicks off at 6.30pm local time, will be live on Chelsea TV here .

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