The Mariners came to Stamford Bridge after beating Macclesfield in the second round of this seasons League Cup competition. There were eleven changes from the game against Liverpool on Sunday, with Callum Hudson-Odoi coming into the first team for the first time after his Achilles’ tendon injury in April and the signing of his new five year contract, about a week ago.
Reece James also came into the team, this was after an ankle injury which he sustained in the summer while playing for England in the Toulon Tournament. This was his full first-team Chelsea debut and with it, he set up Michy Batshuayi for our second of the night and also our fourth for Kurt Zouma, before scoring himself later in the game. Along with Reece James, in came midfielder Billy Gilmour and playing alongside Kurt Zouma in central defence was Marc Guehi who was also making his full debut for the club. Other changes included Caballero for Kepa; Alonso for Emerson and Michy Batshuayi for Tammy Abraham.
Within seven minutes we were 2-0 ahead; our first goal came courtesy of Ross Barkley, who received the ball from Pedro: Ross powered into the box and scored with a drilled shot past McKeown in the Grimsby goal. Our second came courtesy of Reece James, who, on the night, shone brightly. His low cross from the right found Michy Batshuayi, who controlled the ball, turned and shot low past McKeown. This was Batshuayi’s first Chelsea goal in sixteen months after loan spells including, Dortmund, Valencia and Crystal Palace.
At 2-0 after seven minutes it was a clear case of thinking how many we’d get. However, Grimsby rallied and showed some determination. Then in the 19th minute a long goal-kick from McKeown was flicked on to Green who savagely shot past Caballero, it was clear route one but it got the Mariners back into the game. Nerves were settled just before half-time when Kurt Zouma was bundled over in the box with referee Keith Stroud pointing to the spot; Pedro stepped up and calmly slotted past the keeper to make it 3-1 and to deflate the travelling fans.
The second half bought four more Chelsea goals – these came from Kurt Zouma who slotted in after a Reece James’ cross from the right. This was Kurt’s first goal for Chelsea since November 2015 after his own loan spells at Stoke City and Everton. Suddenly the pressure was off and the goals began to flow; our fifth came from Reece James – he received the ball outside of the box after a bit of pinball inside the box and he cooly slotted the ball low out of the reach of the diving McKeown. Then it was the turn of Michy Batshuayi again to score his second and our sixth and to finish proceedings on the night, Callum Hudson-Odoi skipped past the Grimsby defender and placed the ball low past McKeown to make it 7-1.
Our performance on the night was very good considering that when Maatsen and Anjorin came on, our average age was just over 20 years of age. After the game Frank Lampard praised not only Reece James, but Billy Gilmour too for controlling the midfield. The only downside was the conceding of a goal, which could have perhaps been closed down. Our next opponents in the competition will be Manchester United at Stamford Bridge during week commencing October 28.
Chelsea: Caballero; James, Zouma, Guehi, Alonso (Maatsen 66); Barkley, Gilmour, Pulisic; Pedro (Anjorin 67), Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi
Referee: Keith Stroud.