By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 2 v Blackburn Rovers 0
Well it’s a win, at home for the Blues, with Benoit Badiashile and Raheem Sterling notching the goals that sees the west Londoners beat Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers and progress through to the quarter-finals of the League Cup.
It was a deserved win for Chelsea who have struggled badly at home against Premier League opposition, and while Rover’s attempted to ape the tactics of the elite sides, they failed at crucial moments and it cost them.
Chelsea’s desperate desire to strike the first blow was evident in the fits five seconds of the game when the ball was launched forward to in-running Raheem Sterling. It came to nothing but two further corners in a minute was more than proof that head coach Mauricio Pochettino had told his charges to get at Blackburn from the start.
A great ball by Enzo, found fit-again Reece James who piled forward, latched o to the b all and let fly with a powerful right-footer.
Leopold Wahlstedt managed to get part of his lower body to block the goal-bound effort.
James was rapidly becoming the man most likely to score, his low right-footed effort was inches wide of Wahlstedt’s right ;post on 25 minutes.
Enzo was next up to force a good, diving save from the goalkeeper as the Blues got closer and closer to scoring.
A near post parry away for a corner thwarted Conor Gallagher. But from the resultant kick on 31 minutes , Wahlstedt was finally beaten when he could only slap the ball to Benoit Badiashile who coolly slotted home the first goal of the night.
Blackburn can count themselves unlucky on 37 minutes when it looked like Gallagher appear to handle a byline cross.
Neither referee Tim Robinson nor his lino thought that it was worthy of a spot kick.
There were no changes by either side at half-time.
But it was very much as the same as the first half.
Cole Palmer forced an acrobatic save from Wahlstedt on 58 minutes for a corner.
Seconds later Sterling produced a lovely curling right-footer from the edge of the penalty area that Wahlstedt could get near to double the score.
Pochettino was about to make a double substitution – off went James, on went Malo Gusto, off went Badiashile and on came Levi Colwill.
These replacements unsettled the Blues and Rovers had a much better time, on the ball and trying to open up the Chelsea rearguard.
Moises Caicedo came on for Jackson with 15 minutes to go.
The next substitution came five minutes from time when Alex Matos and Noni came on. Off went Palmer and Enzo.
Arnor Sigurdsson should have got a consolation goal for the visitors deep into added time, but Robert Sanchez, redundant for most of the game, produced a fine save to push the ball away for a corner
Teams: Chelsea, Sanchez, Disasi, Cucurella, Badiashile, Sterling, Fernandez, Jackson, Ugochukwu, Palmer, Gallagher, James
Subs; Petrovic, Noni. Caicedo, Colwill, Gusto, Maatsen, Washington, Matos, Castledine
Blackburn Rovers, Wahlstedt, Brittain, Pickering, Hill, Carter, Markanday, Leonard, Adam Wharton, Moran, Travis, Garrett
Subs, Hilton, Scott Wharton, Rankin-Costello, Sigurdsson, Dolan, Gamble, Batty, Ennis
Referee: Tim Robinson
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