Chelsea 1-2 Inter Milan: Comical OG Not Enough as Chelsea Finish Asia Tour With Defeat
Chelsea went down 2-1 to Inter Milan at the Singapore National Stadium on Saturday as they finished their Asia tour with defeat. Goals from Stevan Jovetic (pen) and Ivan Perisic were enough to down Antonio Conte's side, despite Geoffrey Kondogbia's bizarre own goal on 74 minutes.
Jovetic scored in first-half stoppage time after his spot-kick was saved but the Montenegro international slammed home the rebound. Perisic then doubled Inter's advantage when he coolly scored from a tight angle on 53 minutes.
Kondogbia then scored in his own net with time running out but it was Luciano Spalletti's side who held firm to clinch victory.
Conte handed club-record signing Alvaro Morata his first start up-top for the Blues, whilst the Nerazzurri started with Manchester United target Perisic in midfield and new signing Daniele Padelli in goal.
The opening exchanges almost saw Inter take an early lead when a long ball over the top found Antonio Candreva through on goal. The Italian was hunted down by David Luiz who managed to deflect his effort with Thibaut Courtois hooking the ball away but only as far as Perisic, who's effort was blocked by Gary Cahill.
Chelsea managed to find a bit more rhythm to their game shortly after and eased back into it but both sides were unable to force an opener. Morata and Michy Batshuayi were looking particularly good for the English champions but it was Luiz who came closest to scoring, but his header was blocked from close-range.
The Brazilian wasn't far off with a long-range free-kick soon after, but it was the referee's bizarre decision to award the Italians a penalty in stoppage time that saw the first goal in Singapore. Jovetic took down a long ball on his chest and Cesar Azpilicueta prodded the ball away from the former Man City man but was deemed to have committed a foul. Jovetic scored at the second attempt to give Spalletti's side the advantage.
Chelsea were rightfully upset, but they almost forced an equaliser straight after half-time through Batshuayi, but he screwed his effort wide from just outside the six yard box. Conte's side were to rue that missed effort as Inter went two-nil up through Perisic.
The Croatian international finished with aplomb after he was found in space by Jovetic, holding off the advances of Azpilicueta and scoring from a tight angle past Courtois. It was just what the Serie A side deserved and they almost made it three when Perisic teed up Joao Mario, but the substitute saw his effort smartly saved.
Chelsea were beginning to look over-run somewhat but they were given a way back into the game in the most unusual fashion. Perhaps one of the best own goals ever scored, Inter midfielder Kondogbia scored from all of 45 yards, lofting a back pass over the head of Padelli and into the top corner.
It was an unbelievable strike from the Frenchman, a quite outrageous own-goal that left the 24-year-old looking mortified. The west Londoners began to apply the pressure straight after, sub Charly Musonda coming close and Batshuayi wrongfully having one scrubbed off for offside.
However, the Premier League champions were unable to force an equaliser and they'll return to London knowing that despite tasting defeat, they'll take a lot from the competitiveness of the game.