Chelsea & Barcelona put up enthralling show as EPL champs beat European giants 4-2 on penalties
Washington: Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a shootout save and the reigning English Premier League champions beat European kings Barcelona 4-2 on penalties on Tuesday in an International Champions Cup friendly.
Chelsea's Gary Cahill (left) heads the ball past Barcelona goalkeeper Jordi Masipn to score his team's second goal during an International Champions Cup match in Maryland on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
The teams were deadlocked 2-2 after full time. Chelsea's Eden Hazard opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Luis Suarez and Sandro Ramirez netted second-half goals to put Barcelona ahead only to have Gary Cahill pull the Blues level with a header in the 85th minute.
In the shootout, Alan Halilovic put Barcelona behind when he slammed a shot off the crossbar to open the second round. In the third, Courtois denied Gerard Pique and Chelsea's Ramires and Loic Remy scored to secure the triumph.
Both squads are in the training stages of defending their crowns and sought to evaluate talent and test combinations against elite competition to conclude their US tours.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who sent Brazilian defender Filipe Luis to Atletico Madrid hours before the match, wanted a top-notch US farewell before the Blues flew back to London yesterday morning and neither side disappointed before 78,914 at the home of the NFL Washington Redskins. Hazard made a sizzling start.
The 24-year-old Belgian midfielder raced past three defenders into the left corner of the box and tucked a shot just side the near post past helpless Barca goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen.
The Blues missed more chances as Oscar sent a free kick off the woodwork and Diego Costa missed a great chance in the 32nd minute, sending a shot wide of the far post with only desperate Ter Stegan to deny him.