Chelsea cruise into Carabao Cup quarter-finals after beating Blackburn
Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn: Benoit Badiashile and Raheem Sterling score in either half as Pochettino’s Blues cruise into Carabao Cup quarter-finals
- Chelsea cruised into the fifth round of the Carabao Cup after beating Blackburn
- Benoit Badiashile broke the deadlock before Raheem Sterling doubled the lead
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Mauricio Pochettino has been caused so many headaches by injuries that the sight of one of his stars returning from one to help Chelsea through would have been an especially welcome one.
On his first start since recovering from a serious hamstring problem suffered back in May, Benoit Badiashile set Chelsea on their way to the quarter-finals.
He was back in the starting line-up along with Reece James, who has had his own fitness problems, the pair coming off unscathed on 61 minutes following positive nights individually just after Raheem Sterling sealed Chelsea’s last eight place against mid-table Championship side Blackburn.
Were it not for their long list of injury issues Chelsea’s Premier League season might have been looking more promising than it does right now. They are currently in the bottom half.
It has left the domestic cups looking like the most promising route to some form of success and they are now two rounds from the final.
Raheem Sterling scored a superb curling effort as Chelsea beat Blackburn in the Carabao Cup
The England international doubled Chelsea’s lead in the second half against Rovers
It saw the Blues record a comfortable victory and book their spot in the quarter-finals
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That is a prospect that surely increased on Wednesday night with Arsenal falling, joining the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham in already crashing out of the competition.
MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
CHELSEA: (4-3-3) Sanchez 7.5; James 8 (Gusto 60, 7), Disasi 7.5, Badiashile 8 (Colwill 60, 7.5), Cucurella 7; Gallagher 7, Ugochukwu 7, Fernandez 7.5 (Matos 87); Palmer 8 (Madueke 87), Jackson 6 (Caicedo 76) , Sterling 8
Subs not used: Petrovic (GK); Maatsen, Deivid Washington, Castledine
Goals: Badiashile (30), Sterling (59)
Coach: Mauricio Pochettino 7.5
BLACKBURN ROVERS: (4-3-3) Wahlstedt 5; Brittain 6, Carter 6.5 (S Wharton 62, 6), Hill 7, Pickering 6; Garrett 6, Travis 6; Markanday 7.5 (Dolan 61, 6), A Wharton 7, Moran 6.5 (Sigurdsson 74, 6); Leonard 6 (Ennis 74, 6)
Subs not used: Hilton (GK); Tronstad, Rankin-Costello, Gamble, Batty
Bookings: Pickering (23), Sigurdsson (81)
Coach: Jon Dahl Tomasson 6
Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)
Player of the Match: Raheem Sterling
Venue: Stamford Bridge
No game is a given for Chelsea and the domestic cups are important so the strength of their side was unsurprising.
Chelsea began like they meant business too and Blackburn looked at times a little panicky.
Captain Lewis Travis was fortunate to get away with sliding in on Raheem Sterling in the box with no VAR to review the incident while Conor Gallagher was too later on for a possible handball.
James went close twice from distance either side of Blackburn’s Andrew Moran forcing Robert Sanchez into a low save. Leopold Wahlstedt also plunged to his left to push out Enzo Fernandez’s shot.
If Blackburn’s goalkeeper had dealt more effectively with Gallagher’s cross they may have remained level for a little longer.
But instead he poorly just pawed it straight to Badiashile who side-footed Chelsea ahead, his goal-scoring joy after almost six month out with a hamstring injury shared by his teammates including the bright bib-wearing subs who joined in the celebrations.
When James threatened seconds into the second half it looked like the first-half pattern was about to continue but then Blackburn had a great chance to level.
Axel Disasi misjudged a long ball leaving Harry Leonard running through with a chance to put his name up in lights.
Disasi had the pace to reel the Blackburn striker in and, under pressure, Leonard put a panicked finish wide.
Wahlstedt was busy again keeping out efforts from Fernandez and the clever Cole Palmer who also later hit the post.
But Blackburn’s keeper was left helpless when his teammates made a mess of attempting to play out from the back and Sterling curled in Chelsea’s second.
What would have topped things off for Chelsea was a goal for Nicolas Jackson but he blew a chance to silence his best chance to silence his fierce critic Alan Shearer from Sterling’s cross.
And as Chelsea spent the final half hour continuing to rack up the chances the only surprise was they finished with just two goals while an impressive late Robert Sanchez stop denied Amor Sigurdsson a consolation.
Benoit Badiashile broke the deadlock for the Blues as he capitalised on some nervy defending
Badiashile tucked away the ball inside the area after a weak clearance from the Rovers keeper
Chelsea’s players celebrate after the deadlock is broken at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday
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