Michy Batshuayi scored a hat-trick as Chelsea cruised into the 4th Round of the League Cup thrashing Nottingham Forest 5-0 at Stamford Bridge tonight.
Brazilian Kenedy opened the scoring after 12 minutes before Batshuayi notched his first. Debutant Charly Musonda celebrated with a strike before Batshuayi nabbed his second and third.
But the first effort on goal, fell to the visitors with Andreas Bouchalakis trying his luck from 25 yards.
Goalkeeper Willy Caballero made light work of it.
A last-ditch challenge by Joe Worrall, on eight minutes denied Charley Musonda a close-range strike on goal after excellent set up play by the youngster and Michy Batshuayi.
It was a much changed side from Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal, Antonio Conte ringing the changes. Caballero, Ridiger, Bakayoko, Kenedy, Musonda, Batshuayi, and Christensen all starting. Eden Hazard also started.
But class told and it was a wonderful ball by Antonio Rudiger, on 13 minutes that cut Forest’s defence apart and at the far post came Kenedy and he dispatched a smart left-footed volley into the near post, past a distraught Stephen Henderson.
The Brazilian was sent home in disgrace from Chelsea’s pre-season tour of China for posting pictures on social media, that the Chinese authorities took exception not.
His selection would suggest, his rehabilitation within the club is now complete.
Number two was just fave minutes later when striker Michy Batshuayi tucked home from eight yards after a Hazard defence-splitter took a fortunate deflection and the ball fell into the Belgium hitman’s way.
After Cesc Fabregas needlessly gave away a free-kick just outside his penalty area, jack Hobbs was unlucky to see his curling effort smack the angle of crossbar and Caballero’s left upright.
Five minutes from the break and it was number three. Musonda was given the ball just inside the Forest penalty area, on the right side and one touch later, he drilled a low ball at goal. Henderson will be kicking himself for letting the ball slip under his body but Musonda did not care as he celebrated his goal in style, running half the length of the pitch in delirious fashion.
The German defender Rudiger spared Chelsea blushes seconds after the restart with a double block that stopped the visitors from grabbing a goal.
Up at the other end two minutes later and hazard crashes a blaster off the Forest left post, the follow-up by Rudiger sails high over the crossbar.
But it was business as usual on 54 minutes. A fine long ball by Fabregas was latched onto by Hazard who beat the offside trap. The midfielder raced into the Forest penalty area, set the goalkeeper in his bottom before slotting the ball to Batshuayi, who rammed the ball home for his second and Chelsea’s fourth.
Conte then introduced Ethan Ampadu for his debut. The 17-year-old, signed from Exeter City is already in the full Welsh squad.
Ampadu replaced Fabregas.
Substitute Ben Brereton outpaced Davide Zappacosta on the left on 69 minutes, but the wide man could only slam the ball into Caballero’s side netting.
Another youngster Jake Clarke-Salter entered the fray with 20 m invites left, replacing Christensen.
Dujon Sterling, also 17 came on for the final 13 minutes taking Zappacosta’s place. It was the youth product’s debut.
Zach Clough gave the 4,025 travelling fans some hope, albeit, for a second, on 81 minutes, but But his clipped angled free-kick from then edge of the Chelsea penalty area, inched over the crossbar.
Number five came off the body of Batshuayi after Kenedy’s rasper of a left-footer rebounded off the striker and ended up in the back of the net.
With the last kick of ther game, Forest’s Tendayi Darikwa slotted home a consolation
The significance of the win, is that the Premier league match against Watford at the Bridge will now take place at 12.30pm on Saturday, October 21.
The Blues take on Stoke City away, on Saturday.
Team: Chelsea, Caballero, Rudiger, Fabregas, Kenedy, Musonda, Zappacosta, Batshuayi, Cahill, Christensen
Subs: Eduardo, Morata, Moses, Willian, Clarke-Salter, Ampadu, Sterling
Forest: Henderson, Lichaj, Mancienne, Osborn, Fox, Dowelled, Hobbs, Bouchalakis, Walker, Cummings, Worrall
Subsst , Smith, McKay, Clough, Brereton, Carayol, Darikwa, bellicose
Referee, Christopher Kavanagh