Chelsea 5-0 Wrexham: 3 lessons learned from pre-season tour win

Chelsea (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Chelsea (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Chelsea (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images) /

In the final moments of the match, Nkunku and Chilwell sealed the game in style for the Blues, each adding a goal. The Blues comfortably secured a win in their opening Florida Cup match.

Here are three lessons learned from Chelsea’s first 2023 pre-season match against Wrexham on Wednesday night at North Carolina:

Nicolas Jackson is looking sharp

The signing of Nicolas Jackson raised eyebrows as the West London club sought their new focal point in attack. The £32 million acquisition from Villarreal has committed to an eight-year deal and now faces the task of proving himself as a wise investment.

In less than three minutes, Jackson demonstrated why Chelsea invested in him. Positioned as the striker, he received the ball deep, skillfully bypassed Ben Tozer, and attracted three Wrexham defenders before calmly setting up Ian Maatsen for an easy finish beyond Ben Foster. This remarkable assist marked a dream start in a Blue shirt for Jackson while also being a memorable moment for Maatsen, fresh from a successful loan spell with Burnley.

Challenges lie ahead, but Pochettino and the team will be hopeful that this ideal start serves as a catalyst for a strong debut season in the Premier League. Jackson’s emergence as the player Chelsea needs for a focal point in attack will be crucial in their quest for success.

A new system under Pochettino

The dawn of a new era for CFC provided the first glimpse of their style under new manager Mauricio Pochettino. Contrary to expectations of a back five, the team lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Marc Cucurella played as left-back while Ian Maatsen operated in a more advanced role, scoring two goals in the first half. The midfield featured young talents Cesare Casadei and Andrey Santos as the double-pivot, with Carney Chukwuemeka playing just behind lone striker Nicholas Jackson in the No.10 position. The combination worked smoothly, as Chukwuemeka’s clever flick set up Maatsen for his second goal near the edge of the box.

During the break, there were significant changes made, including a completely new front four. Christopher Nkunku replaced Jackson as the No.9, Brazilian winger Angelo made his debut, and Raheem Sterling and Conor Gallagher were also brought into the game.