It was an emphatic win for the blues on Wednesday night as they thumped Grimsby 7-1 in their first ever carabao cup tie against the Lincolnshire side. It wasn't only the manner of the victory that was impressive but the young lads that were on display that very night. The Chelsea squad that faced off Grimsby consisted of 10 academy players while the others were the usual rookies.
The Starting line up had Reece James at RB, Marc Guehi at CB, Billy Gilmour at the midfield while CHO marked his return and Pulisic and Barkley also started. The likes of James, Guehi and Gilmour were making their full debut and it was the performances of James that would have particularly caught the eye.
Reece James who was replacing Azpilicueta on the night created five chances; the most of any player on the pitch and in addition he made three crosses. He laid the ball to Batshuayi who turned and finished for his first assist of the game and his second assist was a cross to the six-yard box for Zouma to poke home. He eventually capped off a wonderful performance by taking a touch on the edge of the box before driving his shot into the bottom corner for his first Chelsea goal.
Marc Guehi had a great game at CB. He attempted nine aerial duels, made 10 ball recoveries and also completed 70 of his 78 passes in the game.
Billy Gilmour absolutely bossed the midfield by completing 89 of his 96 passes, winning 1 aerial duel and taking in 102 touches. Just incredible.
Faustino Anjorin came on in the second half and made two interceptions despite not starting from the onset while iaan matsen put in a decent shift by his own standards.
However despite the academy youngsters sparkling, the same cannot be said of Barkley and pulisic. Barkley just lacked the discipline when playing in midfield and took tons of space for Pulisic to run into despite scoring the first goal. Though Pulisic did well to claim an assist for Batshuayi's second goal but it was the only chance he created all game.
It was also a decent second half for CHO whose persistence came off as he capped the game off with a goal in his first appearance since April while Michy Batshuayi took his goals well; his first pair of Chelsea goals since 2017 and that would give him the much needed confidence.
A sparkling performance from the Chelsea academy players! And surely there would be plenty more in the future. Its still the start of something great.