Hazard shines as Chelsea beat Barcelona on penalties


Chelsea saved their best for last on their tour of the USA, beating Barcelona 4-2 on penalties at the end of a spirited 2-2 draw at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins in front of more than 78,000 fans.
Loic Remy scored the winning penalty after Alan Halivovic had missed for Barca and Thibaut Courtois, the official man of the match, saved from Gerard Pique. Radamel Falcao, who had another 20-minute spell, scored his penalty confidently as did Victor Moses and Ramires.
The penalty shoot-out victory though was less important than the improved performance. Though Barcelona started with a considerably weaker side than Chelsea – who had close to a full-strength line-up – their increased sharpness and cohesion was noticeable in an impressive first-half performance.
Hazard exchange shirts with Iniesta
And even when Chelsea fell behind as Barca, and Luis Suarez in particular, began to shine, they had sufficient stamina and determination to get themselves back into match.
A debut was given to 19-year-old Brazilian Kenedy, still not yet signed from Fluminese but was permitted to play in this game by his Brazilian club.
He impressed as well, strong in the challenge, tracking back well and quick getting forward.
He even directed a well-aimed kick at Adriano early on, refusing to be bullied. Still, whether he did enough in 45 minutes to earn his move was unclear.
Loic Remy grabs the winner for Chelsea in the penalty shoot out
Chelsea started well, both Kurt Zouma and Nemanja Matic both went close with headers and the Serbian should have scored from his while Oscar went close on seven minutes.
But, given the run of play, it was no surprise when Eden Hazard picked up the ball 15 minutes, easily beating Ivan Rakitic and swerved his way past two further Barcelona defenders before finishing coolly.
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Source:: PM Newspaper