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English Premiership

Bremen mar Drogba Chelsea return

HAZARD-BREMENBREMEN, August 3- Chelsea slumped to their first pre-season defeat on Sunday as they were beaten 3-0 by Werder Bremen in Germany to spoil the return of Didier Drogba and the debut of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Ivory Coast legend Drogba made his first appearance for Chelsea since scoring the penalty that won the 2012 Champions League in Munich when he came on as a second-half substitute for summer signing Diego Costa.

However, Jose Mourinho’s side were already 2-0 down at that point and Drogba’s return ended in a tame defeat at the Weserstadion.

Blues captain John Terry conceded a soft penalty after 20 minutes when he needlessly blocked the ball with his arm and Dutch winger Eljero Elia stepped up to plant his spot-kick past Belgian ‘keeper Courtois, who has joined up with Chelsea after a long-term loan at Atletico Madrid.

It got worse for the visitors 17 minutes later when Terry was again implicated as Polish winger Ludovic Obraniak darted past the static centre-half to glance a header past Courtois.

Mourinho made several changes at the break, including the introductions of Drogba and Branislav Ivanovic, while Eden Hazard entered the fray in the second half.

Bremen won a second penalty in the last minute when Dutch defender Nathan Ake was punished for what appeared to be a fair challenge but it didn’t matter to Felix Kroos, who stroked the ball past substitute ‘keeper Petr Cech from 12 yards.

Chelsea, who had previously registered four wins and a draw in pre-season, continue their preparations with a game against Hungarian side Ferencvaros in Budapest next Sunday.

Their opening Premier League game will be away to promoted Burnley on Monday, August 18.

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