Video: Cesc Fabregas scores sublime free kick in Chelsea win
Cesc Fabregas scored his first Chelsea goal as Jose Mourinho’s new-look team secured another comfortable pre-season victory.
Fabregas, a £27 million signing from Barcelona, curled in an excellent free kick to help record a fourth win in five matches and underline why Chelsea are undoubtedly gearing up for a Premier League title challenge.
Another summer signing, Diego Costa, impressed with two assists and a menacing performance and Mourinho already seems to possess the attacking verve and vigour that was lacking in his squad last season.
Mohamed Salah and Nemanja Matic contributed the other goals to complete a resounding win over the Eredivisie team.
And with Didier Drogba in the stands, and Eden Hazard returning after being given extended leave following the World Cup, the portents are promising for Mourinho to have a memorable second campaign
This was another intriguing snapshot of how Mourinho will line up his team this season, with Felipe Luis also starting on the left side of defence.
Chelsea alternated between 4-3-3, with Fernando Torres, Costa and Mohamed Salah as the front three, and 4-2-3-1 for much of the half while Fabregas and Matic frequently charged towards the Vitesse back four in a bid to win back possession.
They were ahead after just 185 seconds, with Costa underlining why he could prove such a significant capture this summer, especially now that Romelu Lukaku’s unhappy spell is over.
As Vitesse’s defence bizarrely attempted to play offside from just inside their own half Costa was sent clear on the half-way line. He advanced on goal and as goalkeeper Eloy Room rushed out, Costa presented Salah with a simple finish.
Petr Cech’s position as first-choice goalkeeper may be under scrutiny, with Belgium international Thibaut Courtois also joining up with the squad on Wednesday, but the superb save from Valeri Qazaishvili’s fierce effort underlined why Mourinho faces such a dilemma.
Cech has insisted he is not prepared to be benched and had to save again, from Zakaria Labyad, as Vitesse responded.
But Chelsea’s latest pre-season canter was secured in the 24th minute when Fabregas bent an exquisite 20-yard free kick into the top corner.
Mourinho introduced John Terry at half-time, with Luis appearing off the pace in the opening 45 minutes, but Vitesse never looked like troubling Cech.
And another speedy break from Costa, easily beating Vitesse defender Jan-Arie van der Heijden for pace, enabled Chelsea to add a third. The Spain international again squared the ball as substitute goalkeeper Piet Velthuizen advanced and Matic finished from close range.
Vitesse did beat Cech’s replacement, Mitchell Beeney, a minute from time through Uros Djurdjevic but this was another satisfactory exercise for Chelsea.
Chelsea: Cech (Beeney 82); Azpilicueta, Ivanovic (Chalobah 82), Cahill (Zouma 79), Luis (Terry half-time); Matic (Boga 76), van Ginkel (Romeu 67); Torres, Fabregas (Baker 76), Salah (Ake 71); Costa (Solanke 76).