Well, that was easy. From the first minute to the last, it was never in doubt. The only question was how many goals would Chelsea score.
It took less than two minutes to open the scoring, less than ten minutes to double it. Within an hour, Chelsea were up three. And then BATE had their first shot on goal. They had set out to not lose 6-0 again, like the last time they came to London and they did accomplish that mission. They even scored a consolation goal as Chelsea’s defense fell asleep on a set piece.
Loftus-Cheek’s hat-trick is obviously the big story, but this was, at minimum, a solid performance from every player in Chelsea Blue, and that despite the mass squad rotation.
- Almost the same lineup as against Vidi FC in the previous matchday, with Giroud taking Morata’s place the only change. Full rotation in defense once again, as almost two different lines have been developed a la ice hockey.
- Scoreline allowed Sarri to switch up his usual substitution pattern, putting Moses and Hudson-Odoi on early and giving a rest to Willian and Pedro.
- Kante for Kovacic the final sub, as both Fabregas and Loftus-Cheek play the full 90.
- In the other game, Vidi beat PAOK, which means Chelsea have a six-point lead halfway through the group stage. A win in two weeks in Belarus would guarantee a spot in the knockout round.
- Next up: Burnley away on Sunday in the Premier League