KENYA BROWN - Thursday, September 26, 2019
Christian Pulisic was back in the starting line-up for Chelsea and assisted on a goal as they dismantled Grimsby Town while Matt Miazga and Reading were dumped out in a nail-biter.
Chelsea 7-1 Grimsby Town
Chelsea were in complete control in their EFL Cup encounter with Grimsby Town at Stamford Bridge as they hit seven goals to secure passage to the next round.
Pulisic, who had not played for the Blues in the past three games, got the start on Wednesday night and played the full 90 minutes. While his performance was nothing to write home about, he was solid throughout the course of the game.
The League Cup can be a tricky tournament for English Premier League teams as those in the lower leagues are looking to claim a scalp that their fans will be talking about for the duration of the season.
The host jumped out to the lead just four minutes into the game when Ross Barkley dribbled the ball into the area to fire a shot past Grimsby goalkeeper James McKeown at his near post. Michy Batshuayi doubled their lead three minutes later with a shot from point-blank range.
Grimsby would cut the deficit in the 19th minute when McKeown's goal kick was headed into the path of Matthew Green and the forward sent a looping shot over the head of Chelsea's backup goalkeeper Willy Caballero to score a goal he will surely remember for years to come.
But the Blues were in complete control of this game and restored their two-goal lead just before the halftime whistle when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Pedro stepped up and converted from the spot.
Kurt Zouma continued the goal-scoring glut in the second half when he got his foot on Reece James' cross from the right side in the 56th minute. James would then turn from provider to goal scorer in the 82nd minute when he fired in a long-range effort.
Batshuayi scored his second goal on the night four minutes later when Pulisic set him up for an easy shot inside the area.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, who made his return to the Chelsea first team after a long injury layoff, rounded out the scoring in the 89th minute with a strike from close range.
Overall it was a good performance by the Londoners as they march on to the next round of the tournament to face rivals Manchester United.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Reading (Wolves win on penalties)
A shock stoppage time goal would only lead to Reading's downfall on penalties as Wolves were able to overcome their opponents at the Molineux Stadium.
Matt Miazga made his return to the Reading starting line-up and played the full 90 minutes in a good individual performance despite the loss.
Reading goalkeeper Joao Virginia gifted their host the opening goal just before the half-hour mark when he fumbled a long-range shot from Bruno Jordao. It looked like there was not much power on the shot, but Portuguese netminder had difficulty to holding on to the ball as it bounced into the goal.
Wolves could not find another goal in the game, allowing the Royals a chance to level score. The visitors attacked relentlessly looking for that goal and were rewarded deep into stoppage which had gone on for nine minutes. Lucas Boye would rise up and head in Jon Swift's cross to ensure the game would head to penalties.
Miazga would do his job and convert his spot kick. However, Swift and Boye would miss their shots as Wolves head on to the next round.
Cameron Carter-Vickers came off the bench for Stoke City as they had a shock exit from the tournament on penalties following a 1-1 tie with Crawley Town.