Not smooth sailing but plenty to be excited about!
Chelsea played Barnsley in the 3rd Round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night as Lampard’s side ran out 6-0 winners. Lampard selected a good team with Caballero in goal, Emerson started at left back with Azpilicueta at right back while Silva got his debut alongside Tomori. Barkley and Kovacic started in a midfield 2 while Mount, Havertz, and Hudson-Odoi started behind Tammy up front. Barnsley also made 5 changes to the team that played against Reading but Struber for sure had come to play.
The game started with Barnsley as the better team as they pressed with a high tempo and forced the Chelsea players into some difficult positions. Chelsea had the first sight of goal though as Havertz played a good ball into Hudson-Odoi’s path and his shot was saved by Collins. Barnsley went on to take shots of their own on Chelsea’s goal as Caballero was forced into some good saves. The opening goal came in the 19th minute as Tammy took advantage of some lazy possession by a Barnsley defender to nick the ball and finish past Collins. Barnsley still kept coming as it was a very end to end game. Mount then had a good chance to score after Havertz played him through but Mason put his shot wide of the post. The 2nd goal came in the 28th minute as Mount played a great ball into Tammy’s path who dummied for Havertz as the German came up behind him and slotted past Collins. First goal for Kai and a brilliant one at that. The rest of the half played out with both teams getting shots but Barnsley still having more chances.
The 2nd half saw Chelsea up their game as we made it 3 in the 49th minute as Havertz did well to press and make a tackle up front as the ball fell to Barkley who drove forward and finished. The 55th minute saw Kovacic press well to nick the ball and pass into Tammy who flicked it on for Havertz who ran into the box and finished past Collins for the 4th. Silva played 60 minutes as Zouma came on for him for what was a successful night for the Brazilian legend. The 65th minute saw Havertz complete his first career hattrick as Tammy once again played a brilliant pass into Havertz who broke the line and dribbled past Collins to finish. The German was then taken off for Chilwell who made his debut. Barkley could have made it 6 as Giroud played a brilliant ball into his path but Ross missed in shocking fashion while Mount could also have scored after some brilliant play by him and Giroud but his shot was saved. The final goal came in the 83rd minute as Chilwell delivered a brilliant cross into Giroud who’s header found the net. 90 minutes, onto the next round on a good night for Chelsea.
Caballero – Very good, made several saves to keep Chelsea in this game and really staked his claim for that 2nd choice spot.
Azpilicueta – Solid night for Azpi as he led the backline alongside Silva, and could have had a goal as well as he headed just wide in the 2nd half.
Tomori – Solid game for Tomori as he looks likely to stay this season with Rudiger heading out. A good 90 minutes from the young player.
Silva – Thiago Silva did well on his debut, there was a shaky start in the opening few minutes but the rest of the display was very assured. It looked like we had a leader in the backline and I felt more comfortable seeing him there. Good start.
Emerson – Good game from Emerson, there are question marks whether he stays or not but it was a nice performance. Funnily enough I felt he played better when he was shifted on the wings after Chilwell came on.
Kovacic – Great going forward as he resisted the press brilliantly but still when it comes to a CDM he is not the solution.
Barkley – Good goal for Barkley and could have had 2 on the night, solid squad player if he stays.
Hudson-Odoi – Callum had a quiet 70 minutes until he was switched wings to the left and he made a better impact on the game. Good work rate from him and if he stays that’s all he can do. I still think a good loan move would do him a world of good in his Chelsea career.
Havertz – Great game from Havertz in a man of the match performance. Kai played in his favoured 10 role and he was on it from the start. 3 very good finishes for his goals and got an assist for Barkley’s goal as well. Havertz could have had a few more assists but the finishes were lacking. The German was fluid behind Tammy as he glided around the midfield effortlessly. The relationship with Tammy was also nice to see and this is going to be the first of many for Havertz.
Mount – Good assist from Mount and could have had a few more along with a few more goals. Mount was quiet when he played out on the wings but he got better once he was brought in centrally after Havertz came off. How Lampard fits Mount in with Havertz once Pulisic and Ziyech are fit will be interesting to see but I really like them two as our attacking 8’s. Just need a solid CDM.
Abraham – Great night for Tammy as well as he got a goal and 3 assists essentially. The partnership with Havertz was really good to see and Tammy also improved physically in his hold up play. Very nice.
Zouma – Solid from Zouma as he came on for Silva to see out the game.
Chilwell – A good appearance from our new left back as he showed some good pace and delivered a beautiful assist for Giroud. Can’t wait for the first start.
Giroud – On the score sheet and could have had a few more if not poor deliveries from the right and probably could have had a couple of assists as well. Good cameo.
All in all a good 90 minutes of prep for Chelsea as some confidence was built while also seeing some good pressing, and inter play between the players. This team is still without Pulisic and Ziyech who are set to return as well while Mendy is also missing from goal, while Werner didn’t even play last night along with Kante, and Reece James. The depth is looking good for what is going to be a very long season. Good sings and need to keep on building, COME ON YOU BLUES!!!.