Shrewsbury 1-2 Chelsea - Ake and Christensen the star performers.
Chelsea progressed through to the next round of the League Cup after beating plucking Shrewsbury ...
Chelsea progressed through to the next round of the League Cup after beating plucking Shrewsbury 2-1 with Didier Drogba scoring in his third match running. It wasn't our best performance but we are through!
Jose's team selection.
As stated earlier in the evening, Jose Mourinho made seven changes to the side that faced Manchester United just two days previously. Gary Cahill, Filipe Luis, Oscar and Didier Drogba maintained their places in the team.
Petr Cech, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, Mikel, Nathan Ake, Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah all came into the team to face the League Two side.
A frustrating first half.
For the most part Chelsea looked comfortable despite Shrewsbury playing really, really well. Our hosts forced Chelsea backwards throughout, forced Petr Cech into pushing the ball away from danger on his line (after another disastrous set piece) and a number of corners.
It was Chelsea's use of the ball that was disappointing until we had broken the deadlock. Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah in particular were both keen to impress and wasted possession in good areas by shooting from distance when a pass would have been the better option.
In the second half Chelsea stepped up their performance. The intensity was back and within minutes we were in front after some good interplay between Schurrle and Salah fed Drogba who slotted the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 1-0.
So Chelsea are one up and knocking the ball about with confidence and are well on top. Didier Drogba and Andre Schurrle both have excellent attempts on goal but to no avail with Schurrle's effort forcing a fantastic save in particular.
Set piece problems continue.
Then with around ten minutes to go it happens again - Chelsea concede from a set piece!
The corner comes over and the ball rebounds off of Mikel and falls into the six yard box. The Shrewsbury substitute Mangan pounces and flicks the ball into the corner to make it 1-1.
The boss influences the game with his changes.
Jose Mourinho reacts to the goal with Matic on for Mikel and Willian on for Salah and their influence is instant. Matic is involved in our possession to start with and the ball is fed out wide to Willian. He cuts inside and fires an excellent cross into the box towards Didier Drogba and it looks to be perfect BUT the defender spots the danger, throws himself at the ball and gets a touch on it to divert the ball into the corner of his own net to make it 2-1 Chelsea.
To their credit, Shrewsbury kept on fighting and really gave a fantastic example of what a good footballing team they are but, Chelsea manage the last few minutes and see the game out to take their place in the next round.
The two outstanding performers for Chelsea.
For me, two of the outstanding performers on the night were Andreas Christensen and Nathan Ake. The only negative from the evening for Ake was a moment when he lost his head after not being awarded a free kick, so lunged into a tackle on the sideline when he didn't need to. He was deservedly booked.
Apart from that, he looked comfortable throughout in the middle of midfield. He was composed on the ball and when required, stepped forward to win tackles.
As for Christensen I thought he was outstanding. He looks very calm in defensive situations and it showed this evening. As with Ake, he won the ball on numerous occasions and when put under pressure, he coped really well.
We have to remember that he was asked to play at right back tonight which is not his normal position because at times, as Chelsea pressed forward, he stepped up on the right hand side to join up with our play but hesitated and passed it backwards more often than forwards. We can't hold that against him.
We are through.
So Chelsea make the four hour journey home tonight happy in the knowledge that we are through to the next round and await tomorrow night's draw.
For those needing important game time they got it tonight as Shrewsbury played really, really well. However, I cannot imagine many of them will start against QPR at the weekend.
What can you say about the big man? That's three goals in three games but surely now he will be rested for the weekend. Credit to him for stepping up to lead the line twice in a little over 48 hours.
OK, he was knackered at the end of the game but he still pops up with an important contribution. Wearing the armband tonight, he was continuously talking and encouraging players and you can see he still has a big influence in that dressing room.
"I’m very happy with my players. When we watched Shrewsbury’s matches in the Capital One Cup we understood why they could beat three teams in superior leagues.
They are a good team with great organisation and good spirit. They were good at set-pieces and they knew how to use their strength in both boxes.
I’m happy with our approach and the answer of our players. I obviously praise the opponent from League Two who gave us a match to the last minute. I wish them good things in their league."
What did you people make of the game tonight and of the players who came in for the start?