Costa and Cahill pay the price as Chelsea beat Barcelona
Injury concerns for Jose Mourinho ahead of new season as American tour ends with another penalty shoot out
Chelsea beat Barcelona on penalties in their final friendly of the summer but the victory came at a price. Diego Costa limped off with a hamstring injury and Gary Cahill suffered a suspected broken nose as the Blues put on a show for the 70,000 fans.
Without a win in normal time in the first two games of their three match tour of the USA, Chelsea took the lead on ten minutes when Eden Hazard waltzed past four Barcelona tacklers and buried the ball past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. It was nothing less than the English champions deserved after a lively opening in which Nemanja Matic and Kurt Zouma had both gone close.
Barcelona almost equalized through Luiz Suarez but his sharp low effort was well kept out Thibaut Courtois, and Costa then squandered a good chance to double the Blues' advantage.
Suarez did level for Barcelona seven minutes into the second period when he took advantage of a stumble from Cahill to lob the ball over Courtois into the net, and then on 66 minutes later the Spanish side went ahead thanks to a fine individual effort by Sandro.
But Chelsea battled back into the game and Willian's free-kick five minutes from time was headed home by Cahill, though the England defender received a punch on the nose from substitute keeper Masip as he rose to the ball.
That took the game into extra-time and Chelsea showed the same spot-kick composure against Barcelona as they had in defeating Paris Saint-Germain on penalties on Saturday. Courtois made the decisive save of the shoot-out, denying Gerard Pique, and Loic Remy then stepped up to win the game for the Blues.
Jose Mourinho took it all in his stride, the Chelsea manager telling reporters the result will have little bearing on Sunday's clash with Arsenal in the Community Shield. "No-one was worried about winning or losing, it is like training for both of us," he said. "We were looking for the best intensity, it was 2-2 could have been 4-4. The penalties mean nothing but it's something nice for the people."
Of more concern for Mourinho is the health of his players, a subject that was raised in the post-match press conference. "Cahill has a chance of a broken nose, maybe yes, maybe no," he explained. "If no, perfect. If yes, he will get a mask tomorrow to be ready for Sunday. Diego felt a little thing in his hamstring. We believe it is just a feeling, no more than that, but we have to wait."