Chelsea returned to their winning ways on Wednesday night, as they defeated Nottingham Forest 5-1 at Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup.
Michy Batshuayi’s hat trick and a goal for Charly Musonda Jr. in his first start for the Blues were the highlights of the night, overshadowing Eden Hazard’s first start of the season, as Chelsea dominated their opponents on the night.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte suggested he would make changes, and he certainly did. Only Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill remained from the side that faced Arsenal on Sunday, and he gave a first start of the season to Willy Caballero and a first Chelsea start for Charly Musonda.
Any chance of a nervy start for Chelsea after their draw at the weekend against Arsenal was quickly put to bed on 12 minutes, when Antonio Rudiger’s floated cross from the right found Kenedy galloping forward on the far post to poke it past goalkeeper Stephen Henderson to open the scoring.
And any chance of a potential upset was laid to rest just six minutes later when Forest’s defence were caught in possession trying to play out from the back, and Hazard’s deflected through ball found Batshuayi who swatted the ball into the net for his first of the match.
Forest had a chance to get back in the match just before the half-hour mark when Kieran Dowell’s free kick from the right hit the post.
Musonda, who had an excellent first half in his first start, got on the scoresheet just before the half when he collected a pass from Fabregas just inside the right channel before stroking it under Henderson for his first goal for the club and sending him diving face first in celebration.
Batshuayi added his second and Chelsea’s fourth just after the break to finish a Chelsea counter. Fabregas, who displayed the full range of his passing all night, lobbed a ball for Hazard down the left side. Hazard held off a defender and put the keeper on his backside before squaring for Batshuayi near the penalty spot to just place in the back of the net.
With the game out of reach, Conte brought on Jake Clarke-Salter for only his second appearance for the club and gave debuts to Dujon Sterling and Ethan Ampadu, the latter having signed his first professional contract this past week.
Batshuayi collected his hat trick through a bit of fortune when Kenedy’s shot hammered the cross bar and ricocheted off the Belgian and into the net.
With the game long over, Forest got a consolation just before full time when Tendayi Darikwa’s attempted through ball deflected right back to him, and he poked the ball past Caballero with the final kick of the match.