Chelsea will head to Russia this week for the latest leg of the pre-season preparations with a 100 per cent record after ending their tour of Asia on a winning note yesterday.
Striker Nicolas Anelka and fullback Ashley Cole scored in a 2-0 victory against a Malaysian League Select team as the Blues made it three wins out of three since new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari took charge.
The Blues, who had hit 11 goals in their previous two matches in Asia, were given a far sterner test in Kuala Lumpur, but scored in each half as Scolari again sent his side out in a 4-3-3 formation.
Anelka’s shot was too strong for the goalkeeper after 25 minutes, and left-back Cole notched a rare strike when he turned and shot home seven minutes after the interval.
The 2-0 win, in front of some 70,000 spectators, followed a 7-0 trouncing of Chengdu Blades and a 4-0 defeat of Guangzhou Pharmaceutical. Chelsea now head to Russia, where they will compete in the Railway Cup against Lokomotiv Moscow, AC Milan and Sevilla, staring on Friday.
Meanwhile, defender Tal Ben Haim looks set to be the latest player to be discarded by Scolari. Manchester City confirmed yesterday they had opened negotiations, and the Israeli travelled to Lancashire for contract talks.
“We have made a bid,” said City manager Mark Hughes.
“Discussions are taking place and hopefully that will be among a number of deals that we conclude before the transfer deadline.”