26th of October 2017

Blues get spot in Cup last-eight beating Toffees (2-1)

Antonio Rudiger’s first goal for the Blues and a late strike from Willian booked us a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals and continued our good record against Everton in this competition.

The German’s excellent looping header put us ahead midway through the opening period, and it required a trio of fine second-half saves from Willy Caballero at the other end to preserve the lead.

Willian fired home in stoppage time to seal the victory, and although Dominic Calvert-Lewin got one back with virtually the last kick, we had done enough to shade a well-contested encounter.

Danny Drinkwater played an hour and impressed on his maiden Chelsea appearance, and also in central midfield Ethan Ampadu completed the 90 minutes and certainly didn’t look out of place against a strong Everton team.

So it is the name of Chelsea that will be in the draw for the last eight. That takes place at 4pm UK time on Thursday. The next match action is on Saturday at Bournemouth.

As expected during this busy run of fixtures, and as promised by Antonio Conte, there were a number of changes from the weekend win against Watford. Drinkwater and Ampadu started alongside each other in central midfield, and there were also places in the team for Kenedy, Charly Musonda Jr and, up front, Michy Batshuayi. The defence was the same as that selected in the previous round of this competition against Nottingham Forest.

Everton’s caretaker manager David Unsworth named a strong side with many familiar faces in it, as well as a youngster from the Under-23 team he had been in charge of, 18-year-old midfielder Beni Baningime.

There were plenty of early touches in the middle of the park for Ampadu and Drinkwater as they settled into life at Stamford Bridge. Andreas Christensen sprinted to close down Wayne Rooney and then block his effort, and an early effort from Willian met the same fate, Jonjoe Kenny the man in the way on this occasion.

The half was past its halfway point when the first attempt on target arrived - and it yielded the opening goal.

Willian played our first corner of the evening short to Musonda, who whipped a cross to the back-post. Rudiger, unmarked but stretching every sinew to reach the delivery, powerfully headed the ball back whence it came, over Jordan Pickford, and into the top left-hand corner of the net.

It was a truly outstanding goal and a fine way for the German to open his Chelsea account.

It didn’t signal the opening of the Everton floodgates but it was certainly Conte’s side who kept the ball better for the remainder of the half. Batshuayi turned and shot straight at Pickford from the edge of the box with 35 minutes played.

Closer to the whistle, Davide Zappacosta, full of bustling energy down the right, fired into the side-netting as a swift Chelsea break reached an unrewarded conclusion.

The second half started at a much quicker pace than the first. A pair of bad Everton tackles were met with yellow cards for first Tom Davies and then James McCarthy, before a strong challenge from Baningime on Ampadu left the 17-year-old requiring treatment.

Caballero had barely touched the ball up to this point, but made a crucial intervention to deny the hitherto quiet Rooney an equaliser. Mirallas headed a Kenny cross on, and from right between the posts the former England striker could only hit the spread-eagled stopper.

Caballero then played a pass short and had to race from his goal to hack clear and stop Lennon levelling. Kenedy was the next man on hand to deny the Everton winger, diverting his stretching effort over the bar.

Conte replaced Drinkwater with Cesc Fabregas on the hour, and the ex-Leicester man left the pitch to a great ovation from the home support after an impressive first outing in Chelsea blue.

There was no question it was the visitors in the ascendency now, though, and two good saves from Caballero in quick succession kept us ahead. First, he reacted sharply to keep Jagielka’s header out (above), and then the Argentinean dived to his left to parry a Mirallas strike away from danger.

Willian skewed wide as we threatened on the counter, and down the other end sub Ademola Lookman hit the side-netting with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.

You sensed Chelsea needed a second goal to make sure of things, and we nearly got it when Rooney misplaced a pass allowing Batshuayi a sniff. The Belgian just managed to knock it past Pickford but with the ball rolling agonisingly goalwards, Jagielka slid in and touched it past the post. Batshuayi himself ran into the woodwork but was okay to continue after treatment.

Zappacosta cut on to his left and had an effort blocked late on as we remained a menace on the counter and increasingly solid at the back, although a curling Lookman strike from 20 yards did clip the top of Caballero's bar.

Four minutes of injury time were signalled and that was enough for two further goals. The first, crucially, was from Willian, who had been one of our brightest attackers. He took a cute pass from Fabregas in his stride after another short corner, and blasted a shot into the net via the inside of the right-hand post.

Calvert-Lewin prodded in as Everton halved the deficit but it was too little, too late for the Toffees, who suffered a sixth straight loss to the Blues in this competition. We now look forward to the draw tomorrow, with the quarter-final ties taking place a week before Christmas.

- Match stats:

Chelsea (3-4-3): Caballero; Rudiger, Christensen, Cahill (c); Zappacosta, Ampadu, Drinkwater (Drinkwater 62), Kenedy; Willian, Batshuayi (Morata 85), Musonda Jr (Pedro 70).
Unused subs Eduardo, Clarke-Salter, Sterling, Scott.
Scorers Rudiger 26, Willian 90+2
Booked Rudiger 66

Everton (4-3-3): Pickford; Kenny, Williams, Jagielka (c), Baines; Davies, Baningime, McCarthy (Calvert-Lewin 64); Lennon (Lookman 73), Rooney (Niasse 81), Mirallas.
Unused subs Robles, Keane, Holgate, Sigurdsson, Niasse.
Scorer Calvert-Lewin 90+4
Booked Williams 28, Davies 50, McCarthy 52, Jagielka 61

Referee Neil Swarbrick
Crowd 40,665

- Match report by chelseafc.com

Site Activity

          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30


Webmaster Luis Cuenca - Web diseñada por HPS