Mauricio Pochettino really wants to win a title for Chelsea in their rebuild. No wonder he chose to take little to no risks with his starting lineup in today’s matchup against Blackburn Rovers, with only three players rotating from the eleven he usually picks up in our Premier League matches.
The choice for a strong starting eleven almost paid off in the first minute of the match, with Enzo Fernández finding Nicolas Jackson in the play that lead to our first shot of the game. Those passes would be the theme for many of our successful advances throughout the night as Chelsea gave little room for Blackburn to grow in the first half.
After many attempts coming out of Reece James running down the right flank, Enzo’s deep passes, Sterling dribbles on the left and Palmer simply gliding all over the pitch, the Blues finally found an opener. From a Conor Gallagher corner, the ball fell to Benoit Badiashile and the defender didn’t have much trouble to bury it into the back of the net.
Chelsea didn’t stop trying to find a goal after the opener in the first half, and this continued in the second half as Blackburn tried to exploit the spaces opened by our advances. However our talents were too much for them to overcome, especially with Palmer and Sterling on such a great night.
In fact Palmer and Sterling would combine for our second goal today. The former would steal the ball from a massive Blackburn mistake as they tried to play it out of defence. He laid the ball to the former, whose strike went over the keeper and past the goal line.
From that point on it was only a matter of managing the game as Blackburn really couldn’t muster much of a challenge against our defence. No thorns from the roses today!
- Little to no room for rotation in Mauricio Pochettino’s starting eleven, aside from Benoit Badiashile, Marc Cucurella and Lesley Ugochukwu starts in the now typical 4-2-3-1 shape.
- Subs are Malo Gusto for Reece James, Levi Colwill for Benoit Badiashile, Moisés Caicedo for Nicolas Jackson, Noni Madueke for Cole Palmer, and Alex Matos for Enzo Fernández.
- Enzo Fernández’s passes to Nicolas Jackson and co. in and around the area were superb. Can only imagine what kind of plays will arise once they get better sync.
- Speaking of Jackson, another night of bad misses despite doing pretty well in everything else.
- Great to see Badiashile back, and scoring a goal to boot!
- Cole Palmer with yet another great night of football. Boy’s the future!
- Sterling scored tonight, and could have had much more. It’s really night and day comparing his performance last season, and how he’s been performing under Poch.
- On to the quarterfinals!
- Next up: Tottenham away in the Premier League.