That was close!
Chelsea had an uncharacteristically shaky performance at Stamford Bridge in the round of 16 as Lampard’s derby caused several problems to Sarri and his men. Sarri selected the normal rotated starting XI but Barkley remained on the bench and Morata was preferred up front to partner Loftus-Cheek and Willian. Hudson-Odoi remained on the bench. All the goals came in the first half as Tomori fumbled the ball into his own net to give Chelsea the lead in the 5th minute but Marriott scored four minutes later after Cahill made some errors in quick succession. Keogh then scored another own goal to restore Chelsea’s lead in the 21st minute but Waghorn equalised for Derby in the 27th minute via some brilliant counter-attacking play. Fabregas then scored what turned out to be the winner in the 41st minute. The second half saw chances on both sides but decent saves were made to keep the scoreline at 3-2. Lampard lost the game but Derby gave more than a good performance and will take encouragement from that. Lampard proved that he is a good manager in the making and the tactic of nullifying Fabregas so that Cahill and Christensen would have to play the balls was brilliant.
Team wise Caballero was decent, the defence was all over the place with Zappacosta and Emerson providing decent attacking threat but panic in defence while Cahill, and Christensen were really poor with Christensen being subbed for Luiz in the second half. The midfield was decent as Fabregas once again proved a good substitute for Jorginho while Kante was his brilliant self, Kovacic was good in his general play but needs to improve his shots. Willian was decent and Loftus-Cheek played out of position on the right wing but still gave a good account of himself. Morata was decent but had no real impact. Pedro, Luiz, and Azpilicueta were all brought on during the latter stages to see out progression to the next round.
The game was not Chelsea’s best performance by far but the players got the job done and that means that Chelsea progress to the quarters as Bournemouth visit us for that game. On to the Premier League at the weekend and keeping pace at the top of the table. COME ON YOU BLUES!!