Chelsea's pre-season preparations came to an end with a win over Lyon in the International Champions Cup clash at Stamford Bridge last night. The Blues emerged victorious on penalties after the two teams played out a cagey affair that failed to muster a single goal over the course of regulation time.
The win helped Chelsea finish their ICC campaign with 5 points after failing to win any of their games within normal time over the course of the tournament. Chelsea had to force the initiative into penalties on all three occasions against Inter Milan, Arsenal and Lyon respectively, only falling short against their London rivals before they had already beaten Perth Glory in Western Australia to kick-start life under the new manager.
The delayed return of Chelsea's active World Cup stars meant that Sarri had very little to operate with initially, but some of the players who were called up to be a part of the squad stood out glaringly courtesy of a few resounding performances. In this segment, we take a closer look at five players who impressed the most during Chelsea's pre-season campaign:
Before the appointment of Maurizio Sarri, there was plenty of speculation surrounding the winger's future at Stamford Bridge. Pedro had enjoyed a dream run under Antonio Conte during the 2016/17 season, where he eventually helped Chelsea lift the title, but the Spaniard had struggled to replicate the same kind of form ever since then.
However, the unavailability of Eden Hazard and Willian during the majority of pre-season had forced Sarri to try and work his way out with Pedro and the results were overwhelming, especially for someone who was labelled 'not good enough to be at the club' anymore.
The 31-year-old has signed a new one-year extension with the club and seems to have grasped Sarri's high pressing system very well, where he relishes the opportunity to attack. Furthermore, goals against Perth Glory and Inter Milan were enough to make him Chelsea's top-scorer from pre-season and also provided him with a starting role against Manchester City in the Community Shield.