Alvaro Morata pressed his claims for being Chelsea‘s first-choice striker after putting in an impressive display in the Blues’ 5-4 win on penalties against Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup in Nice on Saturday.
More importantly, boss Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Morata, who had an unconvincing first season in the Premier League last year, as he was quite influential for the first 30 minutes.
Find out what the Italian coach had to say post-game, below.
With Chelsea reportedly attempting to sign Gonzalo Higuain before the close of the summer transfer window, Alvaro Morata’s future at the club has come under threat.
The Spaniard only arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer but has flattered to deceive so far.
The Blues beat Inter Milan in a pre-season friendly on Saturday night with a 1-1 full-time scoreline forcing the encounter into a penalty shootout.
Morata was among those playing for their places and here’s how he got on …
Morata led the line in a 4-3-3 system superbly to begin with. He was an absolute livewire in the opening 15 minutes or so and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as the linesman appeared to wrongly rule his headed goal offside.
He ran the channels well in the opening exchanges and worked hard for the team. However, he gradually began to drift out of the game as it wore on. Pretty soon he was reduced to a familiarly anonymous figure and was replaced in the 64th minute.
MOVEMENT – Whether it was his forward runs into space or chasing down balls, Morata looked lively early on. His little dart into space for his header was well timed – even if the linesman didn’t see it that way. He also showed great persistence when he twisted, turned and got a shot away in the build up to Chelsea’s goal.
PERSISTENCE – He was doing everything right in the opening 15 to 20 minutes but as soon as things weren’t going his way, his shoulders dropped and he wasn’t as involved in the game anymore. A couple of bad touches was all that was needed to derail what could’ve been a good performance.
Pedro goal V Inter milan— Everything Chelsea (Sarriball) (@Mrsarriball) July 28, 2018
Morata did very well pic.twitter.com/5PwC6RjAjV
2nd minute CHANCE – lofts a ball in for Ross Barkley who tests Handanovic.
5th minute OFFSIDE GOAL – attacks a cross well and finds the back of the net with a header which is ruled out for offside, rather contentiously.
8th minute GOAL – superb work from the Spaniard as his relentless chasing down wins the ball before getting a shot off. Handanovic saves but Pedro scores from the rebound.
57th minute CHANCE – Pedros plays Morata through but the keeper gets there first.
VERDICT – 6/10
This performance proved exactly how much of a confidence player he is. He clearly has all the tools to make it as a world-class striker but it’s his mentality more than anything else that needs work.
Managers Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho have clashed in recent days over spending, and it was Klopp’s Reds who came out on top in Michigan with goals from Sadio Mane, Daniel Sturridge, Sheyi Ojo and Xherdan Shaqiri on debut.
Andreas Pereira scored a free-kick for United but could not stop Liverpool making it two wins from three in the tournament and completing a Manchester double after their 2-1 win over Premier League champions City on Thursday.
Mane had scored a stoppage-time penalty to give Liverpool victory in New Jersey, and he was at it again in Michigan after a frantic opening 27 minutes.
United had seen a goal disallowed for offside when Juan Mata converted Alexis Sanchez’s pass, but it was Mane who opened the scoring from the spot after Demetri Mitchell felled Mohamed Salah.
United were level just three minutes later thanks to a stunning effort from Pereira, who curled home a free-kick from 25 yards.
The teams went in level at the break and while the tempo dropped in the second half, Liverpool continued to look the more threatening following the introduction of Shaqiri.
It was the Swiss who set up their second, bursting into the box and finding Sturridge who curled a first-time effort into the bottom corner after 65 minutes.
The Reds led 3-1 eight minutes later when Ojo netted from the spot after Ander Herrera caught Andrew Robertson, but the best was yet to come.
With nine minutes remaining, Ben Woodburn found Shaqiri in the box and the former Stoke man scored a stunning overhead kick from 12 yards to complete a comprehensive victory.