Lukaku gives Mourinho winning return

17 July 2013 05:16

Jose Mourinho marked his return as Chelsea manager with a performance of potential to excite Wayne Rooney with a 1-0 victory over the Singha All-Stars in Bangkok.

The Thai side beat a Manchester United side minus Rooney in David Moyes' opening match in charge last Saturday, but - after confirming before kick-off a bid had been lodged for the England striker, but that none of their players were offered in exchange - the Blues triumphed in the Special One's first match in charge since September 2007.

Romelu Lukaku's first-half penalty was decisive but Rooney would have relished the opportunities created, particularly if he can be lured to London from Old Trafford.

Despite the will of Chelsea, Mourinho and Rooney, that is by no means a formality.

Prior to kick-off the Blues angrily dismissed suggestions Spain playmaker Juan Mata or Brazil defender David Luiz would be used as a make-weight in any potential deal, pointing accusingly at United for the claim.

Mata and Luiz are two of six players not on the tour after being granted a break following the Confederations Cup and the unusual step taken by Chelsea in commenting on a potential transfer may have been designed to reassure the duo, who are still to meet Mourinho in person.

The Portuguese has insisted he has no intention of selling any players and he took the opportunity in Bangkok to assess his squad.

Mourinho named two teams, with five players remaining from his first spell selected in the starting XI at the Rajamangala Stadium in front of a local crowd decked out in Chelsea blue.

That was reduced to four when midfielder Frank Lampard, who was slated to start, hobbled towards the bench with a strapped right ankle. Ramires began in his place, while five players who spent last year on loan were granted an opportunity, too.

Lucas Piazon, one of the quintet, began as the central figure of the attacking trio behind Lukaku, whose ball to Andre Schurrle resulted in an acrobatic mis-hit from Ramires.

Source: PA