Chelsea Draw PSG 1-1 In First-Ever Soccer Match At Yankee Stadium

Yankees Stadium transformed into a soccer field
Photo by: J.Amaro/TSD

07/22/2013  Bronx, NY

WFC 2012: Chelsea 1  PSG 1

Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain put on an entertaining pre-season show in the first ever soccer game at the new Yankee Stadium on Sunday night in the Bronx.

The European Champions had the overwhelming majority of support from the American fans, but were outplayed in the first half by the Ligue 1 side and needed a late goal from 18 year old Lucas Piazon to salvage a 1-1 draw.

PSG’s dominance could mostly be attributed to the fantastic play of their #10, Nené. Along with scoring the French capital club’s lone goal in the 30th minute, the Brazilian midfielder was able to routinely carve through the Chelsea defense with expert dexterity and vision.

Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore also deserves credit for his assist which came through a mesmerizing dribbling run inside Chelsea’s box, capped with a shot off Petr Cech’s post. The rebound fell straight to Nené who was able to side foot home a first time shot.

The second half brought the inevitable flurry of substitutions and other than a few random chances, was mostly composed of cagey midfield play.

Then in the 82nd minute, a quick give and go inside PSG’s box allowed Chelsea’s center forward Piazon enough space to score the equalizer.

The most startling revelation from the game was the ineffectiveness of Chelsea’s 19 year old Romelu Lukaku. The highly rated young Belgian forward should be the ideal replacement for the departed Didier Drogba, but his seeming lack of interest slowed Chelsea’s attacks for the entire first half.

While he’s clearly physically ready for the combative nature of the Premiership, the youngster could struggle to find minutes with the first team again this season.

On the other side, PSG look like they could already rival Europe’s elite in Champions League this year. While new signing Ezequiel Lavezzi didn’t have his best performance, Marco Verratti showed extraordinary poise and ability in his limited minutes.

Combine his effect with the arrival of the Thiagos Motta and Silva, along with Zlatan Ibrahimović, and the Ligue 1 side look to be on the fast track to the top of world football.

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