Chelsea 6 Peterborough 1: Hakim Ziyech scores hat-trick while Ross Barkley shines on return from Aston Villa loan

HAKIM ZIYECH grabbed a hat-trick as Chelsea kicked off their pre-season campaign by thrashing Peterborough.

On the day striker Olivier Giroud finally completed his move to AC Milan, the Blues showed their ruthlessness in front of goal by hitting Posh for six.




With a number of stars still on holiday following their Euro 2020 exploits, Thomas Tuchel handed a number of youngsters and forgotten men an opportunity to shine in the clash at their Cobham training HQ.

Among those was outcast midfielder Danny Drinkwater while Ross Barkley, who spent last season on-loan at Aston Villa, received plaudits for his impressive display.

Tuchel lined up with a 3-4-3 formation with young goalkeeper Wayne Cumming, who did not concede before he was replaced on the hour mark by Lucas Bergstrom, behind a backline of Trevoh Chalobah, Jake Clarke-Salter and Malang Sarr.

Davide Zappacosta and Marcos Alonso were deployed as wing-backs while it was Drinkwater, back from a loan stint in Turkey with Kasimpasa, and Barkley in the middle of the park.

And the League One side’s defence knew they had their work cut out when they saw Tammy Abraham leading the attack with Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi either side of him.

It was Abraham and USA star Pulisic who gave Chelsea a two-goal advantage at the break before a second half onslaught ensued.

Following a raft of changes, including Ziyech, the Moroccan helped himself to a hat-trick with fellow sub Armando Broja also getting his name on the scoresheet in the behind-closed-doors clash.

Drinkwater’s start will have raised eyebrows amongst the Stamford Bridge faithful as he last played a competitive game for the club to astonishing 1,077 DAYS ago.

He joined several of Chelsea's returning loan army at training at Cobham earlier this week. for sessions laid on for those not involved with their international teams this summer.

The Champions League holders will next take on Bournemouth, Arsenal and Tottenham before facing Villarreal in the Uefa Super Cup prior to their Premier League opener against Crystal palace on August 14.

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Drinkwater recently said he hopes to rediscover his love for football and thinks he can break into the Blues' first team.

He joined Chelsea a year after winning the Premier League with Leicester but the £35million switch has not gone to plan.

Drinkwater has only made 23 competitive appearances for Chelsea, almost all of which came under Antonio Conte in an injury-hit debut season.

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