Chelsea 2-1 Bolton - Jose makes nine changes - Job done!
Chelsea beat Bolton 2-1 last night with goals from debutant Kurt Zouma and Oscar to see us move into the next round drawn against Shrews...
Chelsea beat Bolton 2-1 last night with goals from debutant Kurt Zouma and Oscar to see us move into the next round drawn against Shrewsbury away. With so many changes being made, the result was the most important aspect.
As with any team that has so many players come into the side; with those being mainly people that have either been in and out of the team or hardly featuring at all, it was never going to be a walk in the park.
Many players will feel that they have something to prove to the manager and some will be happy just to be involved.
The truth is that Chelsea still dominated the game with 31 attempts on goal. Maybe at times some people were too greedy when a pass to someone else seemed to be the better option but as I said at the beginning of this post, the result was the most important aspect of the evening.
Petr Cech and Jose Mourinho will not be happy with the goal we conceded from Bolton. We had more than enough people in the side with a height advantage to deal with the cross that came in but it was disappointing to see Mills rise, virtually unmarked, to head the ball low into the far corner and for Cech to react too late to stop it.
Questions need to be asked of Kurt Zouma's position if we are being honest. For some reason, he found himself at the far post alongside two other Chelsea players marking free space when he should have been in and around the middle of the box to use his height to defend.
In saying that, he looked OK last night despite their goal. One or two dodgy moments from being sat on the bench for a month or so, but generally very good.
Nathan Ake, deployed in the middle of the park next to Mikel did well also. It was nice to see him in what many people believe is his best position.
Mohamad Salah was another who I believed did well. He is a player that seems to be busy throughout the game, especially when he is on the ball and last night was no different. The one criticism I will have of him is that I would like to see him take his man on and get to the byline more.
He always seems to what to cut inside when playing on the right and into areas with plenty of bodies in his way. If he could use his pace more, take people on more and focus on getting to the byline to deliver a cross, he could force his way into Mourinho's thinking.
As for the others, everyone pretty much played within themselves. Cesar Azpi had another standard performance, Gary Cahill looked to be enjoying the physical battle for the most part and made more blocks and clearances to add to his ever increasing totals!
Filipe Luis had a solid game and was keen to get involved further forward at every opportunity. Unfortunately for him, Chelsea were not playing quick enough and well within ourselves for him to contribute further.
Mikel was solid in the middle and was nice to see his involvement in the Oscar goal. It was his 40 yard pass through midfield, forward to our attack that started things moving.
Oscar was as busy as usual. Always looking to probe with the ball at his feet, for a scoring opportunity when available and to close the opposition down without the ball, it was a good run out for him. His goal was top drawer.
Andre Schurrle had one of those nights when he was determined to do everything to score. He hit the post twice and had other attempts on goal but to no avail. He really has come on leaps and bounds in the season he has been here.
Loic Remy had a good game. Always making himself available in behind or dropping short, it's good to see him wanting to be involved in attacking areas. The fact that he has scored already has settled him down.
Overall, it was a game we expected to win. You look at Manchester City and the side they fielded to beat Sheff Weds 7-0 and most of those players are being rotated into the team on a weekly basis so you cannot compare.
It would have been easy for the boss to go full strength and look for three, four or even five goals last night but he decided to give players that hadn't featured much a run out.
So we move forward to Villa on Saturday and the good thing about that game is the fact that nine of our first team had the night off and a full week to prepare.
It's Shrewsbury away next in this competition and I wouldn't be surprised to see the same eleven in that one!