Barcelona vs Chelsea: Three things we learned from pre-season friendly

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Barcelona arrived in Washington on the back of a defeat to Manchester United, and with the prospect of playing a full-strength Chelsea to finish their US tour.

Jose Mourinho loves to do battle with the only side to turn him down for the manager's role, something that clearly still rankles with the Portuguese.

Pre-season friendly or not, this is one fixture that the Blues would be taking very seriously indeed, even if for Luis Enrique this was nothing more than a training exercise to get his players up to speed.


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Let's take a look at three things we learned from the game...

World class Hazard

A recent winner of the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year, Eden Hazard lit up this game with a goal of the highest quality to open the scoring in the ninth minute.

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Out-muscling Ivan Rakitic to win the ball in midfield, his change of pace to take him away from the Croatian afforded him to the opportunity to bear down on Marc-Andre ter Stegen's goal.

Both Douglas and Marc Bartra were unable to dispossess the Belgian and a low strike to the German's right gave the move the finish that it deserved. Exquisite.

On this kind of form - he was a threat throughout - it's entirely understandable why Mourinho should be comparing him to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Douglas out, Roberto in?

Sergi Roberto deputised in the right-back role earlier in the tournament in a surprise move from Luis Enrique.

However, Douglas' hamstring injury which Barcelona have already confirmed will keep him out of action for at least eight weeks, could mean that the young midfielder finds himself as understudy to Dani Alves for at least the first couple of months as the season.

New signing Aleix Vidal is unable to challenge the Brazilian for the position until January at the earliest, leaving the Catalans very light in that area unless Roberto is willing to change roles for the good of the team.

For a player that has rarely featured in the senior team to this point, an understudy role isn't ideal but at least gives Roberto an outside opportunity of a run in the side should Alves himself become injured or suffer a loss of form as he did in the early part of last season.

Suarez in the groove

Despite another loss, albeit on penalties, the form of Luis Suarez has been the biggest bonus for Luis Enrique.

The Uruguayan has carried Barcelona in an attacking sense throughout this American tour.

Another goal, against a high standard of opposition it must be said, augurs well for the new season.

Goals aside, Suarez has worked hard in every game and could consider himself Barca's player of pre-season so far, and by some distance.

His is an example for his colleagues to follow. Often we see players ambling through pre-season seemingly without a care in the world but on this form, Suarez is already in the groove and will hit the ground running at the start of the league and cup campaigns.

That can only be good news for the Catalans.

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Premier League
Luis Suarez
Jose Mourinho
La Liga

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