Chelsea made it three wins in a week, as the defence of our Capital One Cup began in resounding fashion with a 4-1 victory away at League One side Walsall. Two players, struggling to find game time this season – Ramires and Loic Remy, were on the scoresheet, with youngster Kenedy and second half substitute Pedro scoring the others.
Jose Mourinho went with a 4-3-3 formation, with Ramires, John Obi Mikel and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all starting. There were also first ever Chelsea starts for Kenedy and Radamel Falcao. Captain John Terry, on the other hand, was making his 650th.
Here is how the players rated out of 10 in the game:
1) Asmir Begovic – 6.5
The big Bosnian didn’t have too much to do in the game, with most of the Walsall efforts reduced to shots from distance. He will, though, not be too happy with the way he was unable to palm away the free-kick that led to the goal. Instead of putting the ball out of play, Begovic’s save fell right back into the goalmouth, allowing James O’Connor to pull a goal back and give the home side hope before half-time.
2) Branislav Ivanovic – 6
The Serb has looked slightly better in the last couple of games. The Chelsea right-hand side, though, is an area opponents continue to target. Former Blues Youth Team player Milan Lalkovic was a constant threat on Ivanovic’s side.
3) Gary Cahill – 7
The Englishman has very much been our main man at the back this season. It may not have been another clean sheet, but Cahill looked as solid as ever.
4) John Terry – 6.5
The captain had a good outing in his 650th start for Chelsea and didn’t really have too many uncomfortable moments. It is unlikely, though, that he replaces Kurt Zouma against Newcastle United on Saturday.
5) Abdul Baba Rahman – 7
This was only his second game of the season, but the youngster showed further signs that he will replace Ivanovic in the starting line-up in the very near future, putting in a solid display.
6) John Obi Mikel – 7
No matter how much one criticizes Mikel, he is Mr. Reliable in games like these, holding his position, making tackles and interceptions on a regular basis and hardly giving the ball away.
7) Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 7.5
It’s not long before Ruben Loftus-Cheek becomes our main man in midfield. The Englishman calmness and composure on the ball is fantastic for a 19-year-old, and he has the ability to pick out a wide array of passes as well. This was his second game in the week and turned out to be the second time that he’s given an outstanding performance in.
8) Ramires – 7.5
A goal and an assist on his return to the side, Ramires showed his ability to open up defences with his marauding runs from midfield. It’s a pity, though, that he doesn’t do it on a consistent basis.
9) Kenedy – 8 (STAR MAN)
It will be criminal if Kenedy isn’t a first-team regular by this time next season. The Brazilian put in a superb display and his sheer delight at scoring his first every goal for the club was plain to see. He has all the qualities needed to become a successful winger – silky skills, great vision and clinical finishing ability. He also set up Ramires’ opener with a cross from the left.
10) Loic Remy – 7.5
The Frenchman gave a very good audition as Jose Mourinho’s looks for the right replacement for Diego Costa this weekend. He scored with a tremendous first-time finish and despite playing out-of-position on the right, found himself in good positions on several occasions.
11) Radamel Falcao – 7
The Colombian had a very good game but failed to do the one thing he was most required – score. He needs to boost his confidence by taking every opportunity, and last night was a great chance to bang in a couple against a visibly weaker team. He did, though, look a constant threat all night with his pace and running in behind Walsall’s backline, and was unlucky not to score when he had an effort cleared off the line. It will be interesting to see if he keeps his place up front against Newcastle or is replaced by Remy.
1) Pedro – 7
Walsall were clearly awed by the Spaniard’s trickery and pace, and Pedro made the most of his cameo appearance with a fantastic solo goal in injury-time.
2) Nemanja Matic – 6
There’s hardly much to rate a central midfielder when he comes on with 18 minutes to go and his side leading 3-1. The Serbian carried out his job with minimum fuss, helping Chelsea see out the game professionally.
Papy Djilobodji came on for his first appearance in stoppage-time and didn’t have anything significant to do.
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Edited By: Karan Dubey
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