Kai Havertz was the hat-trick hero on Wednesday night for Chelsea, as they hit Barnsley FC for six and advanced to round four of the Carabao Cup.
Tammy Abraham opened the scoring on the night for the Blues, before Kai Havertz’s first Chelsea goal sent Frank Lampard’s side into the break two goals to the good after what had been a surprisingly tight first half. After the break, it was Ross Barkley who got the all-important third, before the floodgates opened as Havertz got two more to score an impressive hat-trick. Rounding off the scoring was Olivier Giroud, off the bench to score his first of the season and seal an ultimately comfortable victory.
Frank Lampard rang the changes as expected with eight players coming in for the Blues. Willy Caballero made his first start of the season in goal, behind a new look back-four of Cesar Azpilicueta, Emerson Palmieri, Fikayo Tomori and debutant Thiago Silva.
The midfield trio was Barkley, Kovacic and Kai Havertz in the advanced No. 10 role, with Hudson-Odoi on the right and Mason Mount on the left side of the attack. Tammy Abraham started up top with Timo Werner impressed.
Chelsea could have taken the lead after just 60 seconds as Havertz found Hudson-Odoi, but his effort was well-smothered by Collins in goal for the Tykes. However, both sides settled well and arguably Barnsley should have gone ahead. Azpilicueta made a terrific block to deny Callum Styles, before Cauley Woodrow’s effort was tipped over by Willy Caballero. With Chelsea on the ropes, they hit Barnsley with a class sucker-punch.
A loose pass by Alpo Halme was seized upon brilliantly by Tammy Abraham who showed good strength to turn away from the defender closest to him and slot home comfortably past former Chelsea keeper Brad Collins. The Blues continued to pressure after the opener, and after 23 minutes the home side should have doubled their lead. Driving at the opposition was Kai Havertz, who drew in the last defender before playing a perfectly weighted pass through to Mason Mount, however his near post effort went wide of the target in what was an simple chance.
Less than five minutes later saw the moment that Chelsea fans have been waiting for since the rumours began in the summer arrive. In a role reversal from the previous chance, Mount turned provider for Havertz as the club’s record signing scored his first goal in blue. Mount, from a deep crossing position on the left, drove a ball into the box towards Abraham, who brilliantly stepped over the pass and let it run through to Havertz, leaving the German with all the time in the world to take a touch and bury it into the bottom right corner.
A confident finish, Blues everywhere will be hoping that was the first of many Havertz goals they will be celebrating over the years to come. Three minutes from the break, Chelsea had Willy Caballero to thank for not causing Frank Lampard’s team talk to have a very different tone to it. After some scrappy play on the edge of the area the ball broke for Barnsley FC, and it took a good save from close range to keep the two goal advantage intact.
Despite holding that advantage at half time, Lampard won’t have been thrilled with his sides display, with the opposition going close on numerous occasions. On a more positive note, Chelsea were looking threatening and creative up front, albeit against lower league opposition.
Ten shots for Barnsley FC in the first half meant Chelsea were coming out for the second with a job to do, and less than five minutes in they got a decisive third goal. Trying to play out from the back as they had all evening, the opposition car aged their own problems as Havertz pounced to slide in and win the ball back, with the ball breaking to Ross Barkley who fired in across the keeper to make it 3-0.
The home side had their tails up now and in similar fashion to the third goal, they were the architects of their own downfall as they lost the ball in defence again. Kovacic pressed well and disposessed his man before playing it into Abraham, who flicked it beautifully into Havertz’s path, and the German made no mistake in grabbing his second goal of the evening. Abraham, heavily involved in both Havertz goals, seemed to be linking up well with his new teammate, a promising sign for Chelsea looking ahead to the rest of the campaign.
Two Barnsley mistakes had taken the scoreline from 2-0 to 4-0 in quick succession, perhaps showing the gulf in class and gap in league places beteeen the two sides, after Barnsley failed to punish Chelsea mistakes in the first half. Looking more than assured and comfortable in their commanding four goal lead, Chelsea’s build up play now had a swagger to it and after a long succession of passes, Havertz’s completed his night by completing his hat-trick with his final touch.
Superbly played through over the top in Jorginho-like fashion by Abraham, yet again playing a key role in the goal, Havertz beat goalkeeper Collins to the ball, touching it past him and running clear to pass home into an empty net for 5-0. That perfectly capped off a night that will do wonders for Kai Havertz’s confidence, and hopefully kick start his Chelsea career.
Replacing him was another new signing, debutant Ben Chilwell making his first appearance on his way back to full fitness. Joining the action soon after was Olivier Giroud, also making his first appeance of the season after finishing the last campaign so strongly.
Reflective of his Chelsea career so far, Barkley missed the opportunity to make it six in astonishing fashion, failing to convert a chance so much easier than the one he scored. Giroud found himself in a world of space after receiving the ball on the right hand side of the box, and then passed across for Barkley who had all of the goal to aim at and slid it wide. A man capable of fantastic moments, Barkley can be frustratingly inconsistent and could have a role to play in the squad if he was more reliable.
Chelsea were hungry for that sixth goal, and Giroud was almost the creator again. Ever aware of his surroundings in the box, the forward played a one-two with Mount, backheeling it into his path before the Barnsley FC keeper had to get down very well to his right to stop it going into the bottom corner. Unfortunate not to get two assists in the short time he had been on the pitch, Giroud took matters into his own hands with less than ten minutes to go and scored his first goal of the season.
Another promising sign of things to come as it was Ben Chilwell who got the assist, crossing in perfectly from the left, providing Giroud with a simple headed chance and the kind of which he loves. Chelsea weren’t finished there and Hudson-Odoi was very unlucky to have not won a penalty for his side late on. Showing his technical ability, the winger received the ball in the box and used his studs to roll the ball past his man onto his left foot, before being clattered and seeing the ball roll out of play with the referee pointing for a goal kick.
Struggling to get any sort of possession in the closing stages, Barnsley FC were spared any additional time by the officials as the game ended 6-0 after 90 minutes.
Perhaps an unfair scoreline for Barnsley FC based on the away side’s first half showing, the game only became comfortable for Chelsea after two early second half goals helped to kill the game. Lampard will definitely take positives from the performances of some of the fringe players, particularly Tammy Abraham who scored one for himself and was instrumental in multiple goals.
And of course, it will be a night to remember for Kai Havertz, scoring his first Chelsea goals and his first hat-trick in senior football – here’s to many, many more in Chelsea blue.
Written by Dom Domaingue
Edited by Rob Pratley