Michy Batshuayi scored twice as Chelsea thumped Grimsby 7-1 at Stamford Bridge to set up a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie with Manchester United.
Ross Barkley opened the scoring after just four minutes and Michy Batshuayi doubled the hosts’ lead shortly afterwards. Matt Green then pulled one back for Grimsby but Pedro restored Chelsea’s two-goal advantage from the penalty spot after 43 minutes.
Chelsea then capped a fine win after the break thanks to strikes from Kurt Zouma, Reece James, a second from Batshuayi and Callum Hudson-Odoi – who struck after his return following five months out injured.
They will next host United in the last 16 of the competition, after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side scraped through against Rochdale on penalties.
Within seven minutes gone Chelsea had a two-goal lead. The first came through Barkley, who burst into the box before drilling a low shot inside the near post, and the second from Batshuayi, who picked up a deflected James cross before turning sharply and finding the bottom corner.
Grimsby would not roll over, though, and found their way back into the game on 19 minutes. A long ball was nodded on by James Hanson into the path of his strike-partner Green, who thundered an unstoppable drive from the edge of the box past WIlly Caballero.
It took Chelsea a little while to regain their early composure, but they eventually made it 3-1 two minutes before the break when Zouma was hauled over in the box during a corner and Pedro stepped up to send goalkeeper James McKeown the wrong way from the penalty spot. Interestingly, it was not Barkley who took it after his miss against Valencia last week.
After 56 minutes it was game over as Zouma made amends for his poor defending for Grimsby’s goal, latching onto a James cross to prod home from close range.
James had created two of his own but he bent in a fine fifth from the edge of the area on an excellent debut for him, while Batshuayi grabbed his second of the night from close range four minutes later.
The biggest cheer of the night, however, came for Hudson-Odoi. He had been foiled a few times on the night by McKeown, but would finally get his goal after 89 minutes when he latched onto Batshuayi’s pass and fired inside the near post.
What the manager’s said…
Frank Lampard: “It was pleasing on lots of levels, I don’t think it was the complete performance because at 20 minutes it was 2-1, and we could have scored more goals. I know that sounds a bit strong at 7-1 but we had more chances, particularly in the second half.”
“But we gave players who haven’t had so many minutes, and some younger players had some debuts, while I thought the lads who came on late on improved the team. It was a nice comfortable win, and having not won here yet on those levels I’m happy.”
Michael Jolley: “We have to tip our caps to them. They’re an absolutely top outfit, and the quality from their players is absolutely unbelievable.
“Our boys gave it everything tonight, but it wasn’t quite enough.”
It was a quiet start to the game for Hudson-Odoi on his first return to the side since April, with Luke Hendrie instructed to perform a man-marking job on him.
As the half grew on, however, and Hudson-Odoi’s sharpness grew, he started to get the better of his opponent and started providing some great service for his team-mates. A smart backheel into the path of Marcos Alonso played a part in Chelsea winning the corner that led to their penalty award.
As Grimsby began to tire Hudson-Odoi began to find more and more space, and was only denied more than one goal by some fine goalkeeping from McKeown. Eventually, however, he did find the back of the net, finishing smartly at the near post before celebrating wildly following five months of injury frustration.
“He has signed [a new contract], which puts everything else to bed,” said Lampard. “In terms of his performance, I wasn’t so sure first half because him and [Pulisic] as wingers were supposed to hurt the line and run behind to end up in the box in areas where you can take people on, but that message didn’t get across because it had to be reinforced pretty strongly at half-time. In the second half, he managed to get into better positions.
“Callum’s talent means he has to absolutely work hard to run behind people and all those things. That is where he needs to learn if he wants to play week in, week out in the team.”
An excellent display on his first-team debut from the youngster. Two assists and an impeccable goal from the edge of the area, showing off his range of technique and his engine and ability as a right-back. Cesar Azpilicueta will be looking over his shoulder.
“In his end product, [he produced] because of his assists and his goal,” said Lampard. “His game will get much better because he has been out for a long time and only had minimal minutes in the under-23s. But Reece’s performances last year at Wigan, where he was in the Championship Team of the Year, I think he is going to be a big player for this club.