Occasions such as early matches in the FA Cup, where we more often than not meet teams that are not in the Premier League, are prime occasions for us to test waters with second-choice players. While the strategy can be risky, as it might negatively affect the balance of a team, that was certainly not the case for Chelsea as they ran out winners against Nottingham Forest with a 2-0 scoreline.
As one could expect, it was Chelsea who were the most keen in getting things on the move upfront. It was in one of such opportunities that we got the very early lead via Callum Hudson-Odoi, with the youngster keeping it simple to get his first goal since late September.
Forest did what they could to answer, and they almost got it with a non-existent penalty foul that was not given only because Forest youngster Alex Mighten was offside. A few minutes later, Ross Barkley got himself a goal after a three-month drought.
In the second half, Chelsea’s dominance over Forest continued, although it did have more VAR shenanigans (in our favour, thankfully), and it did not translate into more goals for us. Still, good enough to proceed to the FA Cup’s next round.
- Barkley makes it to Chelsea’s starting eleven for the first time since October 19 last year, when he got a spot in Frank Lampard’s selection for a 1-0 win over Newcastle for the Premier League.
- Subs are Mason Mount for Mateo Kovacic, and Tariq Lamptey for Pedro.
- Barkley-Jorginho pivot in a 4-2-3-1, once we get Mason Mount on the pitch for Mateo Kovacic (who was the third midfielder in the starting 4-3-3).
- Almost 77% ball retention, and 10 shots — 4 of them on target — against none from Forest in the first half. THIS is how you do it against minnows!
- Give Reece James better targets in the box today, and he’d run out of the game with multiple assists from his pinpoint crosses.
- Next up: Burnley at Stamford Bridge for the Premier League.