Chelsea advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup after securing a comfortable 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Frank Lampard made nine changes to his team, but Chelsea still looked quite solid and strong, as they beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 in the third round of the FA Cup. The Blues were the better side throughout the course of the game, sharing 76% of the possession and aiming a whopping 17 shots on goal.
Indeed, the hosts looked comfortable in their passing game while they also created numerous scoring opportunities from the flanks. As a result, Nottingham found it difficult to keep the attackers quiet, with Callum Hudson-Odoi finding the opener in the sixth minute.
It ensured Chelsea’s early dominance, and it didn’t take long for them to double their lead through Ross Barkley in the 33rd minute. The home side were presented with more opportunities, but they failed to make use of them and were rather lucky in the second half as Ryan Yates was denied by VAR due to offside.
At The Hard Tackle, we will now run the rule over the Chelsea players following their performance against the Championship side on Sunday afternoon.
Willy Caballero: 6/10
Replacing Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal, Caballero had very little to do as Nottingham Forest mustered only one shot on target and two shots on goal, in total. He was beaten once by Yates, but the Forest midfielder was denied by VAR, as iterated earlier.
Reece James: 8.5/10
James was one of the better performers for Chelsea as he provided a lot of support to Hudson-Odoi from the right flank. His crossing, in particular, caused a lot of trouble for the Forest defenders while his combination play made it difficult for them to contain Chelsea on the far side.
Andreas Christensen: 7.5/10
Christensen’s input was key as the Blues dominated possession throughout the course of the game. He looked comfortable with the ball at his feet, attaining a pass completion rate of 96% – more than any other outfield player on the pitch.
Defensively, the Dane was hardly tested by the Nottingham Forest attackers, except for one instance when he really struggled to cope with the trickery of Alexander Mighten. A comprehensive display, otherwise.
Fikayo Tomori: 7/10
Tomori made a rash challenge that forced referee Peter Bankes to award a penalty to Nottingham Forest. Fortunately for him, however, the decision was overturned as the player was offside. Apart from that lapse in concentration, the Chelsea young gun looked fairly comfortable, although he wasn’t really tested at all.
Emerson Palmieri: 6/10
Not the best of performances from Emerson, who was completely overshadowed by the influence of James on the opposite flank. The Italian did move forward a lot of times and tried to provide dangerous crosses into the box, but he lacked consistency.
Mateo Kovacic: 7/10
Not the best of performances from Kovacic. But, he wasn’t awful either, playing a key role in maintaining Chelsea’s dominance in midfield. The Croat passed the ball well and made sure that the opposition did not find it easy to create turnovers in the middle of the park.
It was shocking to see Jorginho getting the nod ahead of Billy Gilmour in the starting lineup. But, the Italian, despite being overused by Lampard in recent weeks, continued his run of form – controlling possession and circulating the ball all around the park.
Jorginho’s input in the middle prevented Nottingham Forest from providing any threat, especially with their pressing unit. He did look tired, at times, in the second half, though.
Ross Barkley: 7/10
Barkley looked energetic at times and very enthusiastic when moving the ball forward. His link-up with Hudson-Odoi led to Chelsea’s second goal in the 33rd minute. But, that was really the high point of his performance, which faded as time wore on.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 9/10
By far the best performer on the pitch, Hudson-Odoi stole the show with his pace and trickery on the right flank. His clever movements, coupled with his exceptional ball-retention and link-up play, caused a lot of problems for the Forest defenders.
He was even rewarded for his efforts when his shot found the back of the net in the sixth minute. Another one of his shots led to the second goal as well. And overall, this performance would surely help the young winger regain his confidence and make a push in the starting lineup.
Michy Batshuayi: 5/10
Batshuayi was, unfortunately, one of the worst performers for Chelsea on Sunday. The Belgian wasn’t involved as much in the proceedings despite being handed a few golden opportunities to find the back of the net. A bad day at the office for the ex-Marseille forward, who looks likely to leave Stamford Bridge in January.
Pedro failed to make any sort of impact after putting on a decent cross that led to Hudson-Odoi’s goal. Much like Emerson, the Spaniard wasn’t involved as much in the game. His future at Chelsea could be in doubt too, with the winger reportedly keen on returning to Barcelona.
Mason Mount: 6.5/10
Replaced Kovacic in the 69th minute and provided the creative essence in the final third. But, it wasn’t enough for Chelsea to find the third goal.
Tariq Lamptey: N/A
Finally made his appearance in the 76th minute after being surprisingly excluded from the starting eleven.