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Chelsea easily got by Wolverhampton on Tuesday as they advanced to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup in style.
Chelsea have used the
Carling Capital One Cup as an opportunity to get fringe players some minutes over the last several seasons, and the third round of this season's competition would see more of the same from Chelsea. Roberto DI Matteo handed Cesar Azpilicueta and Lucas Piazon starts, as both made their blues debut on Tuesday. Oriol Romeu and Ross Turnbull were also given their first starts of the season, which happened to be their first minutes on the pitch. Victor Moses was named in the eleven after a pair of impressive cameos, his first appearance in the Chelsea starting squad.
There were a few surprises in the team though, as John Terry got a start despite having to deal with the FA in the morning. Fernando Torres and Juan Mata joined him, surprising considering the fact that the pair will likely see heavy use this season. Gary Cahill, Ramires and Ryan Bertrand rounded out the Chelsea lineup.
Chelsea got going in their Capital One Cup campaign the same way they began the league season, scoring early to put a weaker opponent to bed. Victor Moses drew a foul down the right flank just three minutes in, and Juan Mata put the subsequent free kick onto the cranium of Gary Cahill. It was an excellent set piece goal, and it was just the beginning.
Several minutes later, Chelsea would add another. Oriol Romeu would show no ill effects from his 21st birthday celebration on Monday, blasting a scorcher from about 30 yards out. The keeper could only block the shot, and Lucas Piazon calmly collected the rebound and fed it to Ryan Bertrand for the goal. It was the first assist of Piazon's career, and the first official goal for Bertrand with Chelsea. Congratulations to both, and happy birthday to Romeu.
About ten minutes later, Juan Mata would play a lovely 1-2 with Ramires in the midfield to release the little Spaniard onto the Wolverhampton defense. Mata would play another 1-2 with Fernando Torres, and he'd then smoothly slot the ball beyond the Wolves keeper to make it 3-0. Chelsea would create a few more chances in the half, but when they took a three goal lead into the dressing room it was only a matter of how ugly the game would get for Wolves fans.
The second half would begin without any changes to the Chelsea side, but it wouldn't be long before the home side added a fourth for their fans. Victor Moses would go down in the box, with the Chelsea TV commentators making the comment that he went to ground a bit easily for their liking. I'll reserve judgement until I see it for myself (Chelsea TV begins replaying the game at midnight BST), but an Oriol Romeu penalty would make it 4-0. The goal was the first in Chelsea blue for the 21-year old (and the first of his senior career), and depending who is tabulating the stats it could also be the first assist for Victor Moses.
Goal number five wouldn't be much longer, as Juan Mata fired a corner onto the head of Fernando Torres. That's right, Fernando Torres scored a goal. Not only that, it was a headed goal from a set piece. The event was too much for Chelsea TV to handle, as the audio feed melted down at some point during that earth-shattering event. Audio was restored after the commentators verified that they weren't actually asleep and dreaming, and the scoreline now read 5-0.
Oscar would come on for Ramires, and would show us some of what we might be able to expect when he and Mata are on the pitch together. It wouldn't last long though, as Mata soon came off for the Chelsea debut of Marko Marin. I was shocked to learn that Marin wasn't something I just dreamed up (while drinking far too heavily) in advance of the Champions League final last May*.
*By the way, we won that game. Yay!
Just after the substitution, Oscar would find Victor Moses with a cross that would become the Nigerian's first Chelsea goal as he neatly headed it home. That made it 6-0 to Chelsea, and would be the game's final goal. It happened to be Oscar's first assist for Chelsea in addition to being Moses' first goal for the club. I doubt it will be the last of either.
Chelsea would still make their third substitution, as Fernando Torres would make way for Eden Hazard. I'm interested to watch this portion of the game closely later, as Chelsea didn't have a natural center forward on the pitch for the final 14 minutes of play. That's probably just enough garbage time to give us a look into what Di Matteo would do if both Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres were forced out of the lineup. I'm currently knocking repeatedly on the wooden surface I'm working on. Please do the same...
In the end, this isn't a surprising result at all. Chelsea are a good team, even if this scoreline may have been a bit flattering to what we can expect from them on a regular basis. Wolves are not a good team, they very much
looked sounded like a side that was relegated last spring before losing their best players over the summer. Enjoy the win, and let's turn our attention to a very big game on Saturday when Chelsea head to North London to take on Arsenal. Well done Chelsea, and congratulations to all of our players who had a career "first" on Tuesday.