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Morata’s Chelsea debut upstaged by Mueller

Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller scored twice as the German champions beat Premier League winners Chelsea in a Singapore friendly © AFP/File / Johannes EISELE

SINGAPORE, Singapore, Jul 25 – Big-money signing Alvaro Morata grabbed an assist on his debut for Premier League champions Chelsea on Tuesday but was upstaged by two-goal Thomas Mueller 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 ($92m) 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 pre-season friendly that saw both sides close to full strength.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, whose side defended poorly in falling behind 3-0, 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 Mueller, whose future has been rumoured 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 champions 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 Mueller with a deft chipped cross, and the forward volleyed home in acrobatic fashion.

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

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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 Mueller 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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