Chelsea are 2-1 up away from home against Walsall in their 3rd Round League Cup tie in what has been a largely good performance so far.
An eighth minute run from Kenedy down the left led to a chance for Ramires, whose shot was saved. Minutes later the two players combined to give the Premiership side the lead; a cross from the youngster on the by-line headed in from close range by the Brazil international.
A series of free kicks for the home side came to nothing and the difference between the two sides was clear thoughout. Chelsea came very close to doubling their lead soon after as they counter attacked and Falcao was put in on goal. Having chipped the ball from the onrushing goalkeeper, the Colombian could only watch as his attempt was cleared off the line.
Falcao missed another chance when Baba Rahman’s superb ball in from the left couldn’t be put away, and Remy had a chance blocked on the line soon after the former Manchester United forward went around the goalkeeper and crossed in from the left. Chelsea did get another goal in the 40th minute, and it was the Frenchman Remy who got it. Intelligent approach play from Ramires and Kenedy led to Remy running in from the right and finishing well into the top opposite corner.
Chelsea’s dominance could easily have gone into half time with a several goal lead, as it was they only had one after conceding the most avoidable of goals just before the break. A free kick given away by Ivanovic resulted in a scruffy finish from James O’Connor who put the ball into the bottom corner after Begovic only parried away the attempt from outside the box.
The performance has been good so far. Kenedy and Ramires have worked well, as has the link up play between Falcao and Remy, but the Premiership Champions should remember last season’s appalling defeat to Bradford in the FA Cup if they think progression will be easy. The goal for Walsall just before the break means the tie is still a competitive game.
WALSALL – Etheridge; Demetriou, O’Connor, Downing, Henry; Chambers, Mantom; Lalkovic, Sawyers, Morris; Cook.
Subs: Taylor, Baxendale, Forde, MacGillivray, Preston, Flanagan, Kinsella
Manager: Dean Smith
James O’Connor (45)
CHELSEA – Begovic, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Baba Rahman, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Ramires, Kenedy, Falcao, Remy
Subs: Blackman, Traore, Djilobodjl, Matic, Hazard, Pedro, Aina
Manager: José Mourinho
Ramires (10), Remy (40)
Referee – L. Mason Assistants – A. Alliday, J. Collins Fourth Official – S. Martin