Antonio Conte Loses First Game As Rapid Vienna Beat Chelsea 2-0
New head coach Antonio Conte was beaten in his first game in charge as Chelsea lost their opening pre-season friendly 2-0 against Rapid Vienna.
The Blues had completed the signing of N’Golo Kante earlier in the day, but the arrival failed to inspire anything other than a disappointing display from his new side, who were thoroughly outplayed by their hosts.
Joelinton netted early on and substitute Tomi sealed the win to give the Austrian side a perfect lift ahead of their league opener next week.
For Chelsea and Conte, there is plenty of work to do ahead of their next pre-season game against WAC RZ Pellets in four days.
Conte was without a host of his star players that were involved at Euro 2016, and gave the likes of Victor Moses, Papy Djilobodji and Ruben Loftus-Cheek the chance to impress in the first 45 minutes.
They were soon behind, however, thanks to a lovely team goal by Rapid Vienna – who were playing in their new stadium for the first time.
Brazilian striker Joelinton found the back of the net after eight minutes, playing a one-two before rounding Asmir Begovic and slotting home.
The goal did little to wake up Chelsea, despite the animated presence of Conte on the touchline, and it was the home side who had the better of the chances to double their lead.
Captain Maximilian Hofmann went closest after 36 minutes, but he could only poke wide from close range after being played into the box by Louis Schaub.
Chelsea brightened up after the break, as Conte threw on Oscar and Ola Aina in place of Loftus-Cheek and Baba Rahman, but they failed to create any real clear-cut chances until Diego Costa nodded over from Djilobodji’s ball in after 65 minutes.
In the end, though, it was Rapid Vienna who scored again as Branislav Ivanovic’s error allowed them in before Tomi poked home from close range after Begovic had palmed the ball into his path.