Morata debut upstaged by two-goal Muller

AFP
Big-money signing Alvaro Morata makes his debut for English Premier League champion Chelsea but is upstaged by two-goal Thomas Muller as Bayern Munich wins 3-2 in Singapore.
AFP
Reuters

Thomas Muller scores Bayern Munich’s third goal against Chelsea, which turned out to be the winner, during their preseason International Champions Cup match in Singapore on July 25, 2017.

Big-money signing Alvaro Morata grabbed an assist on his debut for English Premier League champion Chelsea on Tuesday but was upstaged by two-goal Thomas Muller as Bayern Munich won 3-2 in Singapore.

The Spanish international striker signed for Chelsea from Real Madrid in a deal reported to be worth up to 80 million euros (US$92 million) last week, and climbed off the bench with about 30 minutes remaining of the exhibition match.

Morata made his mark soon after, flicking on a corner for Michy Batshuayi to finish and ensure a tight finish to a preseason friendly that saw both sides close to full strength.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, whose side defended poorly in falling behind 0-3, praised Morata's "great will to fight" but said it was too early to judge his performance.

"He is a good buy — but it's right to give him the right time to adapt to our method, our idea of football," Conte said.

It was German international Muller, whose future has been rumored to be in doubt after Bayern’s loan signing of James Rodriguez, who was the outstanding player on the night.

Playing in front of a crowd of over 48,000, it took Bundesliga champion Bayern just six minutes to score with Brazilian defender Rafinha rattling a 25-yard drive past Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who should have done better.

Bayern struck again six minutes later and this time the on-form winger Franck Ribery picked out the unmarked Muller with a deft chipped cross, and the forward volleyed home in acrobatic fashion.

With Chelsea struggling to find its rhythm and all at sea at the back, a moment of brilliance from Muller saw the Germans extend their lead, as he curled a shot past Courtois after surging through the center for 3-0.

Chelsea’s response came in first-half stoppage time as a Victor Moses cross found Marcos Alonso, and the defender drilled past Bayern goalkeeper Tom Starke.

Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti insists Muller is going nowhere.

"Thomas is very important because he is an intelligent player and is able to find space, to be ready," said Ancelotti.

"He was good also last year, he didn't score a lot of goals but his position on the pitch was always good. In this moment, he is more efficient close to the goal and this is important."


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