Chelsea have been held to a 1-1 draw by Bohemians in Frank Lampard’s first game in charge on Wednesday night.
Michy Batshuayi gave the West Londoners an eight-minute lead in the pre-season friendly held in Dublin, only for Bohemians to net a deserved equaliser through Eric Molloy in the closing stages.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro were the only regulars from last season to begin the game in the Republic of Ireland, while the likes of Kenedy, Ethan Ampadu and Danny Drinkwater were also given the chance to impress from the opening whistle.
Bohemians almost took the lead as early as the second minute with Andre Wright lashing a low effort marginally wide from 20 yards, although it was not long before Chelsea found their rhythm and made the breakthrough.
Good work from Kenedy ended with a shot being fired at Batshuayi, but the Belgian reacted well to drill a shot into the roof of the net from eight yards out.
Shots from either team were few and far between during the rest of the first half, although frequent individual mistakes from Chelsea’s backline only encouraged their hosts.
Daniel Mandriou had a well-struck effort from 20 yards punched clear by Willy Caballero, but it was the English side who finished the stronger as Batshuayi had a deflected shot tipped wide of the post.
Lampard made 11 changes at the break but if anything, the alterations only led to the Blues adopting a higher intensity as they looked to double their advantage.
Billy Gilmour fired wide of the near post from 10 yards after some positive play from Lucas Piazon, while Izzy Brown curled marginally over the crossbar from distance.
Tiemoue Bakayoko was the next player to try his luck from 20 yards, only for goalkeeper James Talbot to unconvincingly turn the ball away for a corner.
Gilmour then forced Talbot into another intervention with the youngster’s low curling effort being tipped behind, although that proved to be the last of Chelsea’s clear-cut chances for the rest of the match.
Despite struggling to create opportunities which could trouble Jamie Cumming, Bohemians dominated the closing half-hour, putting their Premier League opponents constantly on the back foot.
The best chance went the way of Evan Ferguson with 83 minutes on the clock, but the youngster could only curl wide from inside the penalty area.
That was until Bohemians finally found a deserved leveller in the final minute of normal time, as Molloy ended a sweeping move down the centre by firing into the roof of the net from 12 yards out.
Conceding so late will disappoint Lampard, but the club legend will take the positives from what proved to be a competitive encounter against a team currently sitting in third position in the Irish top flight.