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Hazard Scores Twice On Blues Return

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Eden Hazard scored twice in his first pre-season appearance as Chelsea lost 3-2 to Real Madrid in front of 105,826 fans in the United States.

European champions Madrid led when Marcelo’s 20-yard shot deflected off Oscar and wrong-footed Asmir Begovic.

Marcelo doubled the lead with a superb solo goal, then Mariano Diaz added a 30-yard strike just before half-time.

Chelsea improved considerably after the break, rewarded by Hazard twice slotting in after rounding the keeper.

The Belgium attacking midfielder did not play in Wednesday’s friendly win against Liverpool, having been given extra recovery time following Euro 2016.

But he provided some much-needed spark for the Blues, who fielded a mixture of experience and youth against an under-strength Madrid side.

In the absence of the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil left-back Marcelo took centre stage as the Spanish giants dominated the first half.

“We weren’t a team in defensive situations. We were better with the ball but bad without the ball,” said Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who took over on 1 July after the Blues finished 10th in the Premier League last season.

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“It’s clear we must work together always with and without the ball. If we think we can’t, we risk repeating a bad season.”

Following the 65th-minute introduction of Hazard, along with a number of Madrid changes, Chelsea clawed their way back into the game – but left it too late to find an equaliser.

Conte’s side face Italian side AC Milan in the final game of their US tour on Wednesday before wrapping up their pre-season schedule against German team Werder Bremen next weekend.

The Blues open the new Premier League season with a home game against London rivals West Ham on Monday, 15 August.

Chelsea: Begovic (Courtois 46), Aina, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Oscar (Chalobah 46), Matic, Willian (Cuadrado 46), Traore, Loftus-Cheek (Batshuayi 46), Pedro (Hazard 65).

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