Michy Batshuayi scored twice and set up another as Chelsea overwhelmed Arsenal in the Bird’s Nest Stadium.
Chelsea striker Batshuayi was terrific with a goal in either half and an assist for Willian as the Premier League champions looked far sharper than their London rivals.
Batshuayi clearly had a point to prove after spending most of last season on the bench but looks in the mood to fight for his place even with the arrival of £67m striker Alvaro Morata.
Arsenal looked tired and leggy with record £52m signing Alexandre Lacazette disappointing and one of six players substituted at half time. Giroud was introduced in the second half but he couldnt do much to salvage his team as he couldnt convert the few chances that came his way.
It looks as if Antonio Conte’s men are much further down the road than Arsenal whose punishing pre-season schedule in Australia and China appears to have taken its toll.
Chelsea looked sharper, quicker and far more incisive. Arsenal looked sluggish, weary and vulnerable in defence.
Arsenal have been away for nearly a fortnight in Australia and now China and the exhaustive trip looks as if it has taken its toll.
Chelsea, meanwhile, only arrived on Wednesday, had been training in London and it looks as if there is something to be said for working back at home rather than go overseas.
After Arsenal upset the odds to win the FA Cup final, normal service appears to have resumed because Chelsea did look far more impressive.
Arsenal have played four games in Australia and China in front of nearly a quarter of a million people.
Chelsea will be a huge draw in Singapore when they face Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in their pre-season games next week.
The Bird’s Nest was not a sell-out, partly to do with restrictions on the crowd. But, make no mistake, it’s just a a matter of time – possibly ten years, maybe longer – before the Premier League goes abroad in some form. Pre-season tournaments are the first step and there is too much money to be made.
The official, Fu Ming, took charge but did not live up to his name and was quite relaxed.
It is a shame when players get booked or sent off in friendlies because they are supposed to be just that. Friendlies.
Antonio Valencia got sent off last week and cards can be transferred even if it does not often happen.
This time, thankfully, the referee allowed the game to flow between two intense London rivals.
Michy cost £33m last summer – which was more than K’Golo Kante – and must be one of the most expensive reserves in the Premier League.
But while the Belgium striker rarely got a look-in last term, surely he will see more action this term even after the arrival of Alvaro Morata.
The Champions League together with defending the title means Chelsea’s squad will be stretched and Batshuayi looked as if he is up for the challenge this season.
Sharp and mobile, he worked hard and looked in the mood to make his point this season.
He scored a terrific goal and supplied an assist for Willian. The signs look very good.
Ospina expected the FA Cup final to be his last game for Arsenal as a move to Fenerbahche was lined up. But the deal fell through when the clubs could not agree a fee.
Maybe he will still go. But Ospina’s performance – particularly with a double save from Willian and Victor Moses – was excellent.