Chelsea were always the heavy favorites to win against a tough Derby City side, even away from home. Jose Mourinho's side didn't disappoint on Tuesday, and will continue on in the League Cup after knocking off the Rams.
Eden Hazard got things going early, sending the keeper the wrong way from the edge of the 18-yard box after some shambolic defending from the Rams. Filipe Luis then doubled the lead with a spectacular free kick in the second half. Derby managed to get one back with about 20 minutes to play, but after going down a man just eight minutes later, it was easy enough for the Blues to see out the victory. Just to be sure, though, Andre Schurrle buried a Loic Remy rebound to put the match out of reach.
Up next in the League Cup will be a two-legged semifinal, against an opponent to be determined after the quarterfinals are completed. Tuesday's other match saw Sheffield United knock off Southampton, who have quickly gone from looking like a Champions League contender, to looking like relegation fodder.
- Eden Hazard's goal was taken very nicely. More of that, please.
- Eden Hazard's finish looked amateurish next to Filipe Luis' free kick. Wow.
- Winning aside, I think the biggest thing everyone was hoping for was an injury-free match. Unfortunately, Kurt Zouma had to be stretchered off in the first half after a scary collision with Petr Cech. Keep your fingers crossed that he's ok.
- Unfortunately, Didier Drogba also picked up a knock. Hopefully he recovers before Christmas, as the stretch between the Stoke game next Monday and January 1 is very busy.
- Derby showed why they're in the middle of the promotion picture for the second season running, and wouldn't look out of place at all in the Premier League. There's an obvious gulf in quality between the Rams and the Blues, but the same can be said for the bulk of the top division as well.
- The beIN commentary team today was awful. It was Gus Johnson Eric Wynalda, or Tony Gale level awful. Thankfully, beIN doesn't do Chelsea games very often.