Pedro bloodied as Chelsea beat Arsenal
BEIJING: Chelsea forward Pedro was taken to hospital with a possible concussion after colliding with Arsenal’s goalkeeper during the Blues’ 3-0 preseason win over their London rivals in Beijing yesterday.
The 29-year-old Spaniard was left reeling on the ground with a bloodied face inside the first half hour of the game after Colombian keeper David Ospina flew into him while clearing a long-ball with two fists. After receiving medical attention on the pitch for several minutes, Pedro got up and walked off with blood in his nose, lips and right ear. “For sure (he) should be okay but I think he had a concussion,” Chelsea manager Antonio Conte told reporters after a Michy Batshuayi double sparked his side to an easy victory.
“For this reason our doctor preferred to bring him to the hospital and to check him in the right way,” the Italian added. “It’s a pity because in this period now it’s not good to have this type of injury, but should be okay and I’m very happy for this.” Conte said he did not know whether Pedro would have to spend the night in hospital, but if the Spaniard is better today he will travel with the team to Singapore to continue the preseason.
The injury scare overshadowed a brilliant performance by Belgian forward Batshuayi before a crowd of 55,618 at the Bird’s Nest in the Chinese capital.
The victory gave the Blues some measure of revenge against their London rivals after Arsenal stunned Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final in May to deny the Premier League champions the double. Batshuayi shone as Chelsea prepare to be joined by Spanish striker Alvaro Morata, who could make his debut against Bayern Munich in Singapore on Tuesday following his reported 80-million-euro ($92.2 million) transfer from Real Madrid. Batshuayi scored the second of his two goals five minutes into the second half, latching onto a pass from Marco Alonso to fire a curling shot past Ospina from just outside of the area.
Arsenal’s own star signing, former Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, had a low-key game. French international Olivier Giroud entered the game in the second half and provided some spark but his early shots were saved or wide. Willian opened the scoring in the 40th minute, beating Ospina with a low drive.
Two minutes later, Premier League player of the year N’Golo Kante fed Batshuayi, who beat Ospina again with a left-footed shot from the edge of the box. After the game, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger brushed aside a question about rumours that Chile forward Alexis Sanchez could move to Paris St-Germain, saying: “It’s only media imagination”.