Chelsea rebounded from its weekend loss to Liverpool by getting the good vibes going through a number of new faces Wednesday in a League Cup blowout of Barnsley.
Kai Havertz scored three times, Ben Chilwell came off the bench to chip in an assist on debut, and Thiago Silva went 60 minutes in his first match in a Chelsea shirt as the Blues pounded the Championship side 6-0.
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We’ll start with the longtime PSG defender, who had four clearances, an interception, and a tackle while winning both of his duels.
He passed at 94 percent including six-of-seven long balls. Even accounting for the competition, that’s solid.
Lampard called Silva’s outing “a perfect 60 minutes” via Football.London:
“He also gave us something for me on the night in the dressing room and on the pitch of a leader with authority in terms of his demands on others,” Lampard said. “He can’t speak the language but at the minute that’s not even a problem because his presence and the way he commands people around him is already showing that to me in training and in our game tonight. Yes, I am very very pleased with Thiago. It is what I expected of a player of his level but it is very refreshing to have him here at the club.”
ProSoccerTalk talked about Chelsea’s need for a leader at the back during this week’s “Unfiltered,” and Lampard has clearly been waiting for someone like Silva.
As for Havertz, you only needed the box score to see his influence on the game.
Two of Havertz’s three goals were assisted by Tammy Abraham and a third from Mason Mount.
The German phenom also racked up five tackles and two key passes against Barnsley.
“He makes the recovery tackle for Ross (Barkley)’s goal, but then to also just have some freedom on the ball in central areas roaming behind Tammy,” Lampard said. “The combinations he had with Tammy, the way he grew into the game and had confidence and the three goals. It was a great night for Kai and the first of many for him.”
Havertz scored seven braces for Bayer Leverkusen, but this was his first hat trick. Barnsley may play in the second tier, but they had allowed three goals in their last four games.