Roberto di Matteo named a vastly changed side from the XI involved in clambering over the hurdle of Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon. There were first starts for summer signings Cesar Azpilicueta and Victor Moses, whilst Turnbull, Romeu and Piazon made their starting debuts of the season. A vast amount of empty blue seats greeted the new look eleven, with 32,569 coming through the turnstiles at the home of the European Champions.
It took the Blues’ just 3 minutes to state their intention and flex their muscles in what can be said to be the most frivolous of the six competition’s the European champions will compete in this season. Gary Cahill continued his lucrative season in front of goal, notching his 3rd goal of the season, heading in from a Juan Mata free kick at the far post. Ryan Bertrand added the second moments later after De Vries had parried a long-range effort from Romeu and Piazon had teed the England international up for his first (official) goal for Chelsea. By this time the Wolverhampton were under immense pressure as Bertrand, Ramires and Piazon penetrated down the left flank. 10 minutes later Spanish duo Mata and Torres linked up well before Mata slotted home well inside the area, to put the game out of reach by the midpoint of the first half, leaving Stale Solbakken digging deep in his pockets desperately for a white flag.
The Blues’ supporting cast was staking a good claim for starring roles at the Emirates on Saturday. Wolves only threat in the entire first half was squandered as commentator nightmare Slawomir Peszko rounded Turnbull but could only hit the side netting. Proverbial villain Stephen Hunt was substituted at half time for Wolves after being tormented by the home fans for 45 minutes.
Flabbergasted was the general consensus amongst the home fans as Oriel Romeu stepped up after Victor Moses flailed in the area under a challenge from the Wolves keeper. A nice touch for the Spainard, a day after his 21st birthday. 5 minutes later it was finally Torres’ turn. Many claimed the inclusion of the 50 million pound man raised eyebrows, I personally argue that with Daniel Sturridge still recovering from a hamstring injury, it was a lack of other options rather then giving Fernando a confidence boost and a pat on the backside. He took his goal well from a Mata corner at the back post. It was Victor Moses turn next, making it 6-0 from a move involving an all-new trio; Marin to Oscar, who chipped it up for Moses first goal in Chelsea colors. The depleted Stamford Bridge crowd was being rewarded for their ‘all in’ approach in a season where the Blues’ have their fingers in multiple pies. Wolves had introduced ex Chelsea youth player Frank Nouble in the meantime, as Chelsea brought on Hazard on for Torres. Different ends of the spectrum to say the least.
People can and will say what they like about the quality of the opposition, with a fair point. But the new look side provided good quality and penetrated the Wolves team from the off. Azpilicueta looked sharp and dynamic on the right touchline, as did Ryan Bertrand in his native position. Piazon played his first senior 90 minutes in Chelsea blue, as well as Marin’s debut following his preseason injury. The 92 minutes at Stamford Bridge was as much as an exhibition as the Capital one third round could provide, clinical and astute in all quarters.
Chelsea; Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Bertrand, Ramires, Romeu, Piazon, Mata, Moses, Torres. Subs: Hilario, Ferreira, David Luiz, Mikel, Oscar, Hazard, Marin.
Wolves; De Vries, Stearman, Margreitter, Batth, Zubar, Peszko, Edwards, Davis, Hunt, Boukari, Sigurdarson. Subs: Ikeme, Nouble, Jonsson, Forde, Foley, Price, Ismail.