Frank Lampard handed Michy Batshuayi a rare start and the Belgian was among the goals as Chelsea crushed Grimsby Town 7-1 at the Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to advance to the next round of the Carabao Cup despite defensive deficiencies.
The Blues could not keep a clean sheet against the lower division opponents but the home side still had more than enough firepower upfront – despite star man Tammy Abraham sitting out the tie – to put Michael Jolley’s men to the sword.
Chelsea have now failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 10 games in all competitions, including all nine under Frank Lampard – they last went on a longer run between September and December 1996 under Ruud Gullit (16 games).
Ross Barkley, Michy Batshuayi and Pedro – from the penalty spot – gave Chelsea a 3-1 lead heading into the break after Green pulled one back for the away side. Kurt Zouma, Reece James, Hudson-Odoi and Batshuayi again got the four other goals for Chelsea in the second half.
It was never a victory in doubt even though Frank Lampard named a completely different side from the one that lost to Liverpool on Sunday.
Batshuayi led the line for Chelsea, with Pedro sitting just behind him and Hudson-Odoi also returned from injury and went straight into the starting line-up. Abraham, Mount and Jorginho all dropoed to the bench.
History even supported a Chelsea win as the Blues have won their last 11 EFL Cup matches against sides from outside the Premier League, scoring 36 goals across those victories.
Chelsea dominated the first half and led Grimsby 3-1 at the break.
It took Barkley just four minutes to open the scoring when his low shot from the edge of the six-yard box found the bottom right corner.
Batshuayi then doubled the lead three minutes later when he turned brilliantly and fired his shot past McKeown and into the back of the net.
Green pulled one back for Grimsby when he drilled his shot into the roof of the net, but Pedro extended Chelsea’s lead from the spot just before half-time.
10 minutes after the break and it was 4-1. James Reece put a brilliant cross into the six-yard box and Zouma got ahead of his marker, sticking out a leg to get on the end of it, poking the ball past McKeown and into the bottom corner.
With the game running towards its conclusion, Chelsea cranked up the pressure and should have scored more before Reece James scored the game’s fifth goal.
Once again, Grimsby failed to clear their lines properly from a corner and the ball bounced off Davis and straight to James on the edge of the box. The youngster took a touch before driving his shot into the bottom right corner to score his first goal for the club. A truly beautiful display from the English lad.
It got even worse for Grimsby as last season’s runners-up, Chelsea soon made it 6-1 as Batshuayi grabbed his second goal of the night.
Grimsby were trying to crowd out Pulisic on the edge of the box, but the midfielder did well to spot Batshuayi’s run on his right side, who did well to lift his effort over the onrushing McKeown.
A few minutes later and it was seven for Chelsea as Batshuayi turned provider for Hudson-Odoi to mark his return from injury with a fine goal.