Club World Cup: Al-Hilal vs Chelsea 9/2/22 – Full Match Report

A first half strike from Romelu Lukaku books Chelsea’s place in Saturday’s Club World Cup final.


Written by @ArmadilloBlue1 and Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


Pre-game:

After an edgy affair against League One Plymouth on Saturday, Chelsea turned their attention towards another piece of silverware as they took on Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal in the semi-final of the Club World Cup.


The competition is the only one missing from Chelsea’s trophy cabinet, with The Blues missing out in 2012 following a 1-0 defeat to Corinthians in the final. The London club look to go one better this season – aiming to build on the two European trophies won in the last 12 months.


Al-Hilal – who also finished as runners up in the competition in 2019 – beat Al Jazira 6-1 in the quarter-finals to earn their matchup with the Champions League winners. Al-Za’eem (‘The Boss’) qualified for the Club World Cup after winning the AFC Champions League, where they beat Pohang Steelers 2-0 in the final.


Chelsea were up against some familiar faces, with former Premier League players Matheus Pereira and Odion Ighalo starting for the Saudi side.

The Blues – who were without coach Thomas Tuchel again – saw three changes to their lineup. This notably saw Andreas Christensen make his 150th Chelsea appearance.

First Half:

It was a slow, nervy start by both teams before Chelsea began to take control and assert their dominance on the game. The Blues had chances take the lead inside the opening 20 minutes when Romelu Lakaku failed to get on the end of an Azpilicueta pass.


The Belgian didn’t however have to wait too long before he did find the net, after Havertz’ cross fell to the striker who slotted home his ninth goal of the season on the 32nd minute.

This gave Chelsea the upper hand heading into the half-time break.

Second Half:

Chelsea could, and maybe should have doubled their lead early in the second half when Kai Havertz hit the woodwork and Hakim Ziyech had a weak effort saved.


As the game wore on Chelsea began to lose their grip on the match and needed a couple of good stops from in-form goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to keep the score at 1-0.

With 20 minutes to go, Mason Mount made an appearance coming off the back of a knock that he picked up against Plymouth on Saturday. The midfielder was played in by goalscorer Lukaku with a chance for a second – only for a last minute block to frustrate Chelsea more.


The European Champions went on to hold on to their lead for the final few minutes and will now face Brazilian side Palmeiras on Saturday in the final.

After the Whistle:

In the absence of Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea did well to edge past Al-Hilal to reach yet another final under the German. With a Carabao Cup final on the horizon at the end of the month, The Blues have now reached the final of every available competition since the German’s appointment 13 months ago.


Looking to build on what is proving to be an extremely successful period for Chelsea, the Champions of Europe will look to finally add the Club World Cup to their cabinet on Saturday – where they will play Brazilian opposition in the final once again.


Final Score:

Al-Hilal 0-1 Chelsea.

- Lukaku (32’).


Line-ups:

Al-Hilal (4-1-4-1): Al Mayoof; Al Burayk, Hyun-soo, Al Bulayhi, Al Shahrani; Cuéllar; Marega, Kanno, Pereira (82’), Al Dawsari (81’); Ighalo.

- Subs: Carrillo (81’), Michael (82’).


Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Arrizabalaga; Christensen, Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta ©, Jorginho (45’), Kovačić, Alonso (87’); Ziyech (72’), Havertz; Lukaku.

- Subs: Kanté (45’), Mount (72’), Sarr (87’).


Referee:

César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos.


Possession:

Al-Hilal (46%) vs Chelsea (54%).


Shots:

Al-Hilal (12) vs Chelsea (15).


Shots on Target:

Al-Hilal (3) vs Chelsea (5).


Corners:

Al-Hilal (3) vs Chelsea (9).


Fouls:

Al-Hilal (7) vs Chelsea (14).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match Highlights:

- (credit | FIFA).

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