(Even) Young(er) Chelsea smashes Grimsby Town 7-1
Chelsea battered League Two side Grimsby Town 7-1 on Wednesday, with Christian Pulisic going 90 minutes and registering an assist for the Blues at Stamford Bridge.
Michy Batshuayi had two goals and an assist, Pedro and Kurt Zouma a goal and an assist, while Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi make season-opening statements with goals. Ross Barkley also scored for Chelsea, while Matt Green was Grimsby Town’s scorer.
Pulisic was a relative veteran in a Starting XI with Marc Guehi, Billy Gilmour, Reece James, and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Longtime Blues heroes Pedro, Marcos Alonso, and Ross Barkley started, with Wily Caballero, Kurt Zouma, and Michy Batshuayi filling out the eleven.
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The subs were just as young, as 17-year-olds Faustino Anjorin and Ian Maatsen debuted for Frank Lampard.
The sequence that produced Chelsea’s opener started with a Pulisic shot blocked in the left of the box, but the Blues quickly regrouped and went through the right for Barkley to drill a low shot past Mariners goalkeeper James McKeown.
The second goal saw Pedro, Pulisic, and James pull off a one-touch clinic, with James taking the feed from the American to set up Batshuayi for 2-0.
But hold on: Green scored a wonderful goal when he out-raced Marcos Alonso to a flick. Green is 32 years old and was in the National League as recently as last season. He’s scored exactly one goal in 16 appearances above League Two level. Well, two, we guess!
Pulisic won a dangerous free kick by dribbling a pair of Mariners in the 28th, but Batshuayi just missed heading Hudson-Odoi’s chipped free kick inside the far post.
Zouma was at the heart of Chelsea’s third and fourth goals. He won a penalty for the Blues in the 42nd minute off a corner kick, and Pedro dispatched the third goal to the back of the net.
The center back then was at the back post to take care of a fine cross from James. 4-1.
In fact, Batshuayi and Pulisic were often living in the same zip code in search of goals.
James made it a deserving 5-1 with a beautiful strike in the 82nd minute, and Pulisic laid off to Batshuayi for Chelsea’s sixth.
Batshuayi then set up Hudson-Odoi for the feel-good moment of the match, the icing on the cake if you will, with a near post finish past McKeown.
Pulisic’s stats: 90 minutes, 52 touches, 1 key pass, 2 shots, 4-of-8 in ground duels, 1 of 1 in the air.
Pulisic darted in front of Batshuayi to dribble on goal and rip a shot just wide of the frame in the 66th. He was unable to score from a tight angle in the 72nd after a terrific run to meet a clever Barkley pass.
Overall, it wasn’t a great night on the whole for Pulisic who, like Ross Barkley seemed driven to take the bull by the horns to the point of excess. He was fouled twice and showed he wouldn’t be bullied by the physical Mariners.