It’s been 20 years since Chelsea last competed in the second round of the League Cup. With the West London club having seen off Blackpool at this stage in the 96-97 campaign. Chelsea have no European responsibilities this season, but they’ve had a great start to their season under their new manager, Antonio Conte. Who have claimed all 6 points up for the grab in the Premier league, 2 games into the the season.
Bristol Rovers got past this round back in 2000-01 season, when they defeated Everton on penalties. Their last win against Chelsea was in Division 2 way back in 1981.
There were certain absenties in the Antonio Conte’s side as Courtois was given rest and Begovic started between sticks, Aina started at LB as Ivanovic replaced JT as the centre back. Cesc Fabregas, Loftus Cheek and Moses got their first starts of the season as N’Golo Kantè, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard were rested, Pedro replaced Willian and Batshuayi played the lone striker in the 4-2-3-1 formation.
Chelsea started with a bang and almost had a lead just 3 minutes into the game and had another chance in 5th minute when Pedro had picked up space down the left flank and drilled a good cross in but there was nobody at the end of it.
Again in the 10th minute hosts squander up a great chance as Batshuayi tries to lob the Rovers goalkeeper after a sublime pass from Cesc Fabregas but the Rovers goalkeeper gets back in time to make the save.
Chelsea were sending waves of attacks after attacks and it looked as if a goal was just around the corner, but the Rovers defense was keeping it tight at the back as the game was picking up its pace.
Batshuayi, Pedro and Loftus Cheek were having some great link-up play between them and Fabregas looked to be pulling the strings deeper in his role very well. In the 21st minute Fabregas let’s go of a great chance as his shots was wide and Mildenhall just had to close his corners.
Loftus Cheek looked to be capitalising on his chance as he was playing some great football and in the the 24th minute, after some great footwork he just gets denied from giving Chelsea the lead as his shot hits the woodwork.
Rovers were keeping them organised at the back but thy hardly had any possession of football to make something happen on the other end of the pitch.
In the 29th minute Batshuayi gives Chelsea the much awaited lead after some great play from Matic and Loftus Cheek.
Moses doubles up the Chelsea lead in the 31st minute from the close range and it was looking like as if Chelsea will run the rout.
But, soon after Chelsea’s second goal Rovers made a comeback with a set piece goal, as Chris Lines made sure that the visitors make the most of the free-kick.
In the 37th minute Rovers again had a great chance to make it 2-2 as Harrison’s header was just off the post.
Just when it looked like that Rovers could make a comeback into the game, Batshuayi gets his second of the game and Chelsea’s third as Chelsea lead by 3-1 at halftime.
Soon after the halftime break, Rovers carve apart Chelsea to mount a comeback scoring their second of the game and the tie looked like it’s on again.
But, Conte made some changes to his system and looked to see of the game as he asked his players to keep the ball and keep it tight, Eden Hazard and John Terry got their minutes later in the game as they came on for Pedro and Aina.
Later Loftus Cheek made way for Oscar as Chelsea looked in control of the game and Rovers were looking for their way to get a third and make a comeback into the game.
In the 93rd minute, Batshuayi was denied a goal being offside as Chelsea wrapped up the game in controlled manner and progressed into the next round of the League Cup.