New signing Christopher Nkunku was among the scorers as Chelsea cruised to a 5-0 win over Ryan Reynolds’ League Two side Wrexham in the first leg of their US tour.
Mauricio Pochettino made his first start as Blues manager, naming a young XI but including summer arrival Nicolas Jackson in the attack.
The Senegal international took a while to make his mark, overcoming a challenge in the third minute before slotting home for Ian Maatsen to head home.
Chelsea’s remaining pre-season fixtures
- July 23: Chelsea vs Brighton, kick-off 12:00 (Lincoln Financial Field, USA), live on Sky Sports
- July 27: Chelsea vs Newcastle, kick-off at 1.15 (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, USA), live on Sky Sports
- August 2: Arsenal vs Monaco – kick-off 18:00 (Emirates Stadium)
- August 6: Arsenal vs Man City – 4pm kick-off (Wembley) FA Community Shield
Dutch left-back Maatsen, 21, doubled his tally before half-time as he exchanged passes with Carney Chukwuemeka and scored a powerful strike from 18 yards.
Nkunku was one of a number of new arrivals at the interval as Pochettino gave his experienced heads more time to impress.
However, it took until the 80th minute for them to add to their lead when Conor Gallagher’s goal made it three after good work from fellow first-half substitute Raheem Sterling.
Nkunku’s goal came in the final minute of normal time when the French forward beat goalkeeper Rob Lainton to fire home.
There was still time for another goal, with Ben Chilwell on target deep into stoppage time after latching on to a defensive pass from another new signing, Angelo Gabriel.
What to watch on Sky Sports this week
151st opening – 20 to 23 July – LIVE on Sky Sports Golf
Fourth Ashes Test for men – 19 to 23 July – LIVE on Sky Sports Cricket
Premier League Summer Series – from 23 July – LIVE on Sky Sports Premier League
Hungarian Grand Prix – 21 to 23 July – LIVE on Sky Sports F1
F1 Juniors: Hungarian GP – 23 July – LIVE on Sky Sports Mix
World Match Games Darts – 17 to 23 July – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
Arrows of the women’s world matches – 22 to 23 July – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
IBF welterweight title eliminator – 23 July – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
Enjoy live action from The Open, F1, The Ashes, Premier League and more with NOW
Pochettino impressed by the performance of the new weapons
Pochettino’s starting force had an average age of just over 19 and the young manager paid tribute to their quality to produce a professional performance in front of 50,000 fans in North Carolina.
“It’s good that we have the opportunity to see all these young guys who can show their quality,” he said Chelsea.com. “It is important for them and for us to have a real assessment. Of course they all have quality, they need time and space to show they can compete for a place in the squad.
“The profile is very good, [Andrey Santos and Cesare Casadei] and Carney (Chukwuemeka). They have the profile, it just takes time.
“They are young and we can’t forget that we are at Chelsea, the pressure is always to win. They have to have the place, have time to evolve. But yes, the profile is good.”
Chelsea kick off the season against Liverpool, live on Sky
Mauricio Pochettino will take charge of Chelsea for the first time when they start the 2023/24 Premier League season at home to Liverpool. Sky Sportson Sunday August 13th.
Chelsea then travel to London rivals West Ham on August 19 before welcoming newly promoted Luton Town to Stamford Bridge on August 26.
Pochettino will visit his former club Tottenham on November 4 with the return leg scheduled for February 24.
Watch the Premier League Summer Series on Sky
The first US Premier League summer series featuring Chelsea, Newcastle, Brighton, Fulham, Brentford and Aston Villa will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Five east coast nations will host the nine-match friendly tournament from July 23 to 30 in preparation for the new Premier League season.
Each team will play three matches and will not face the same opponent more than once.
The games will be played at five locations on the East Coast: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia; Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta; Exploria Stadium, Orlando; Red Bull Arena, New Jersey; FedExField, Landover, Maryland.