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Chelsea’s Diego Costa ‘felt a little thing in his hamstring’ against Barcelona

Chelsea striker Diego Costa may already be an early-season injury worry for manager Jose Mourinho after feeling 'a little thing in his hamstring' on Tuesday against Barcelona.
Chelsea's Diego Costa tries to dribble past Barcelona defender Marc Bartra during a pre-season match in Washington, DC on Tuesday. Nicholas Kamm / AFP / July 28, 2015
Chelsea's Diego Costa tries to dribble past Barcelona defender Marc Bartra during a pre-season match in Washington, DC on Tuesday. Nicholas Kamm / AFP / July 28, 2015

Chelsea wrapped up their pre-season tour of the United States on Tuesday by beating Barcelona in a shootout after their International Champions Cup match ended 2-2 on Tuesday.

More importantly, though, the match produced injury scares for both Gary Cahill, who appeared to break his nose heading in a late equaliser, and – ominously, considering his issues last season – Diego Costa, who appeared to tweak his hamstring.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho admitted he has fears for striker Costa and defender Cahill, thoguh the latter regardless will not miss Sunday’s Community Shield match against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.

”Cahill has a chance of a broken nose,” Mourinho said. “If yes, goes tomorrow to make a mask to be ready to play Sunday. Costa, he felt a little thing in his hamstring. No more than that, but we have to wait.”

Costa, who provided 20 goals in 26 league matches last season, left the match after 60 minutes for John Obi Mikel.

Eden Hazard scored the opener for the Premier League champions before the Spanish giants hit back with two goals in the second half, by Luis Suarez and Sandro Ramirez. Cahill scored with the header four minutes from time to send the game to a shootout in Washington.

“For a preparation match it was fantastic for us,” Mourinho said. “It was a good pre-season game for us, I think (for) both teams and also for the public. You know, it’s a friendly, but when Barcelona face Chelsea, you want to win, it’s not a friendly.”

His counterpart, Barca manager Luis Enrique, also had to deal with an apparent injury to defender Douglas.

“It was a more physical game than it should be at this point of the pre-season,” said Barcelona manager Luis Enrique. “It’s not a loss. It’s a draw. Overall this was practice. We gave playing time to the players we wanted to see.”

While European champions Barcelona do not start their La Liga title defence until August 23, time is of the essence for Chelsea, who have the quickly oncoming Community Shield match before their Premier League opener against Swansea Cty on August 8.

And with the club fielding the much stronger side to start Tuesday’s match, it took them barely nine minutes to open the scoring.

Hazard received the ball 40 yards from goal and dribbled past several Barcelona players before slotting a right-footed shot inside the near post from 12 yards.

Barcelona, playing without Lionel Messi and Neymar, who were rested from the tour, gathered themselves and began to dominate possession and it was the third member of their prolific trio, Suarez, who levelled the score shortly following the restart.

After Cesar Azpilicueta’s attempted headed clearance fell invitingly to the Uruguayan inside the box, Suarez shaped to shoot but instead let Chelsea defenders commit themselves before cleverly dinking the ball over goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Defender Kurt Zouma made an attempt to clear the ball but the referee decided it had crossed the line.

Barcelona went ahead 14 minutes later when Sandro cut in from the left and curled home a goal with his right inside Courtois’s far post.

Chelsea equalised in the 86th minute when Barcelona failed to deal with a free kick and Cahill sent a looping header into the net, receiving a bloody nose for his troubles and was immediately substituted.

Loic Remy converted the winning spot kick for Chelsea after Radamel Falcao, Victor Moses and Ramires also found the net.

Andres Iniesta and Sandro were successful for Barcelona but Alen Halilovic and Gerard Pique missed from the spot.

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Updated: July 29, 2015 04:00 AM



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