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Chelsea were in fine form as the Blues defeated MLS side New England Revolution 3-0 in a friendly game in the United States in the early hours of Thursday morning – in a game billed to raise the profile of the club’s Say No To Antisemitism campaign and combat all forms of discrimination in the game.
Chelsea were comfortable victors in the game with Ross Barkley finding the net as early as the third minute with a composed finish and Olivier Giroud doubled the advantage with a header before half-time. Barkley scored a brace and Chelsea’s third when a Gonzalo Higuain shot struck him midway through the second period and with the game done and dusted, there were opportunities for three youngsters – Conor Gallagher who replaced an injured Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah.
However, Chelsea suffered a major blow as Ruben Loftus-Cheek hobbled off with an ankle injury during the game. The 23-year-old twisted his ankle in the lumpy pitch at the Gillette Stadium, going off in the second half.
Loftus-Cheek who has been a key player for Chelsea in recent games left the field on crutches and is now a doubt for the Europa League final against Arsenal on May 29.
Maurizio Sarri’s worst fears have now come to pass with Loftus-Cheek picking an injury ahead of this crucial tie.
“Now we need to rest,” Sarri said in his post-match interview after the shootout victory over Frankfurt. “Unfortunately we have to go to play in the United States.
“Because I think in this moment, we need to rest. We have 10 days to prepare for the final.
“We have to recover energy because we are really very tired.”
Sarri also said: “Travelling so far away and returning Friday morning before a Sunday match is tough.”