Chelsea edges Liverpool in testy ICC tie … As Fabregas is sent off

ChelseaCHELSEA’s back line did most of the work in Thursday’s International Champions Cup opener against Liverpool. It even scored the only goal.

Gary Cahill’s early header stood up as Chelsea weathered Liverpool’s attack and a second-half red card to Cesc Fabregas in a contentious 1-0 win at the Rose Bowl.

Seven cards total were issued, including the straight red to Fabregas in the 70th minute for a horrific challenge on Liverpool’s Ragnar Klavan.

Klavan left the match momentarily before returning and appears lucky to not have escaped a more serious injury to his left foot.

“I’m sorry for the Liverpool player,” said new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.

Five of the cards, however, were shown to Liverpool players, and Fabregas shifted the blame afterward.

“I do think the ref, for us and for them, was giving cards all over the place,” he said, “so that’s why sometimes when you do that as a ref you lose feeling of what’s happening. Because if you give one when it’s 50/50 or 40/60, then the next one you have to give it again – he didn’t have the game under control.”

Chelsea did frustrate Liverpool with terrific team defending. All told, it was an impressive display under Conte, who to the surprise of many guided Italy to the Euro 2016 quarterfinals last month.

Chelsea will continue play in the ICC on Saturday in Ann Arbor, when it faces Real Madrid, and will also play AC Milan on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Liverpool will next play Milan on Saturday in Santa Clara, California and then Barcelona on August 6 in London. – Yahoo Sports

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