Chelsea continued preparations for the new season with a 2-1 win over Championship side Bournemouth on Tuesday night.
With nothing to separate the two teams in the first half, Emiliano Marcondes opened the scoring for Scott Parker’s side with a nice close-range finish.
Armando Broja equalized a few minutes later before fellow substitute Ike Ugbo made the comeback for Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Here, Sports post picks out six things we learned from the Vitality Stadium game.
Armando Broja (right) and Ike Ugbo (left) both scored as Chelsea beat Bournemouth 2-1
Tuchel still loves his 3-4-2-1
One of the most notable changes Thomas Tuchel made when he replaced Frank Lampard as manager was to ditch the back four and play fullbacks on either side of three centre-backs.
It immediately helped the Blues tighten things up in the back, but also made the most of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho in midfield. The move also freed Mason Mount to play in one of those two positions behind the lone striker.
Playing as full-backs also brought the best out of Ben Chilwell and Reece James going forward, while also reviving Marcos Alonso after being sidelined by Lampard.
Based on Tuesday night’s evidence, Tuchel seems likely to be sticking with the system that delivered Champions League glory and a top four finish in the first few weeks of the season.
The Blues have been in talks with Sevilla about a transfer for Jules Kounde earlier in the day and he looks ideal to play the right-wing centre-back role in which Cesar Azpilicueta played towards the end of last season.
Thomas Tuchel seems likely to stick with the favored 3-4-2-1 system at the start of the season
Hudson-Odoi stuck on fullback
If Callum Hudson-Odoi has to convince Tuchel that he doesn’t belong on the wing, but rather on the flanks, he must prove he is clinical in the final third.
It was just after 15 minutes when the youngster had a great chance to open the score. Chelsea managed to break and Hakim Ziyech picked out the youngster on the right.
Admittedly it was a poor pass and forced Hudson-Odoi to slow down before he could run to the Bournemouth defences, but after he managed to clear a meter of space, his effort was poor and right on the keeper.
But 10 minutes later he showed exactly what he can do. Picked by an excellent game changer, Hudson-Odoi had his defender standing upright before driving to the byline and crossing over to Tammy Abraham, who should have scored.
Callum Hudson-Odoi played at fullback but missed a good chance with a tame finish at the start
Drinking water can do work
Danny Drinkwater has not played competitively for Chelsea for three years and his chances of regular football in the first team remain close to zero with Jorginho, Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount at the club.
Nevertheless, he gave a performance similar to what we were used to seeing during his title-winning season at Leicester. He is desperately trying to win Tuchel’s support and didn’t hurt his chances.
The 31-year-old started in midfield alongside Conor Gallagher. Don’t be fooled, there were no breath-taking moments of agility or lung-breaking runs, but Drinkwater did exactly what was expected of him.
Drinkwater won the ball back when needed, took it off the defenders when they tried to play out and was always ready to hand the ball over to those in front of him or on the flanks.
He spent the second half of the 2020-21 season on loan at Kasimpasa in Turkey, but if he can continue this form in the coming weeks, there’s no reason why he can’t win a Premier League transfer or stay at Stamford. Bridge as an edge player.
Danny Drinkwater impressed in midfield and increased his chances at Premier League football
Ziyech looks lively
Big things were expected of the Moroccan after he switched from Ajax last summer, but a knee injury prevented him from running on the ground and then had to miss most of the festive period due to a hip problem.
In all, Ziyech scored six goals and provided four assists in 39 appearances, but was largely left out of the big games under Tuchel by the end of the season.
The former Ajax player played only 29 minutes in the Champions League from the quarter-finals and did not play 90 minutes in the Premier League under the German manager.
We saw both sides of his game on Tuesday night, when he came into play after a hat-trick against Peterborough earlier this month.
There were the deft touches and precise changes of play we’re used to seeing, but he also rushed his last ball more than once and kicked it away in frustration when a decision didn’t go his way.
Ziyech has been linked with a move to AC Milan this summer, with so much competition for those two positions behind the striker. But he looks fit and sharp and will be an asset if he can keep fit.
Hakim Ziyech looked lively on the right wing showing off his brilliant skills and passing range
Brooks is Premier League class
Chelsea may have had more famous names on their squad, but the best player of the night was undoubtedly David Brooks on the Bournemouth winger.
The 24-year-old came on the scene with seven goals and five assists in his debut Premier League campaign in 2018-19, attracting interest from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United.
But then saw his momentum halted by a serious ankle injury, leaving him with just nine appearances in the next campaign as the Cherries were relegated to the championship.
He has made 39 appearances, scoring six goals and providing seven assists, as Bournemouth lost in the semi-finals of the play-offs and has not really been linked to a move, a sign of how much his stock has fallen.
But here he was excellent. In the first half he played a delightful through ball for Dominic Solanke to run towards before playing Jack Stacey on the wing to cross for Emiliano Marcondes to score the opening goal.
It won’t be long before we see him in the Premier League again.
David Brooks looks set for a return to the Premier League after a few frustrating seasons
Broja could be a future No. 9
Chelsea are looking for a striker this summer, it’s no secret.
But it looks like they have a promising option going forward in the form of Armando Broja.
Born and raised in Slough, 1600 miles from Tirana, the Albanian teenage striker has been a Chelsea player since he was 10 years old and was loaned out to Vitesse Arnhem last season.
He came into halftime in the middle on Tuesday night and immediately looked more lively and dangerous than Tammy Abraham, who missed a number of opportunities in the first half.
Broja then showed his instinct for goals with a clever piece of control in the penalty area and a neat finish to make it 1-1.
He looked fast, strong, good looking with the ball at his feet and ready to show off.
So, while Tuchel may be expecting huge fees for a turnkey No 9 this summer, he can look forward to having Broja in his ranks for years to come.
Armando Broja (left) looked lively and impressively scored Chelsea’s equalizer