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A confident Chelsea overcame a depleted Barcelona side to win 2-1 on Tuesday in the opening game of the inaugural Rakuten Cup.

The friendly at Saitama Stadium was touted as the first-ever meeting between two European clubs in Japan when it was announced in March. But the announced crowd of 51,126 — around 10,000 below the former 2002 World Cup venue’s capacity — rarely raised its collective voice during play.

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