Speaking to the club’s official website after the 6-0 win against Barnsley, hat-trick hero Kai Havertz said: “When you are Chelsea and you play against lower teams everybody says you have to win, but it’s not that easy.
“They can run, they can shoot, and it was difficult for us, but we did very well and are very happy to get through to next round. In the first half they had many chances and we were lucky they didn’t score.
“But offensively we played very well. Not everyone is fit and we can do better, but for the third game it’s already getting better and I hope we can continue on Saturday.”
Up next for Chelsea is a trip to West Brom in the Premier League and Frank Lampard will be hoping that Havertz will continue his goalscoring form.
Lampard’s selection demonstrated why he wants to trim his squad before the window shuts on 5 October. Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s absence summed up the competition for places and Antonio Rüdiger looks certain to leave after being left out of the squad for the second successive game. “Nothing is concrete,” Lampard said. “Don’t read too much into those selections at the minute.”
While Rüdiger was off nursing a bruised ego, there was an opportunity for Hudson-Odoi, who has been out in the cold of late. The winger had an opening to make his point to Lampard in the first minute, only to shoot too close to Brad Collins.
At times Hudson-Odoi seemed too eager to please. While the 19-year-old worked hard on the right, he needed to relax and follow the example of Abraham, who was keen to show that he can compete with Timo Werner. The striker gave Chelsea the lead in the 18th minute, finishing well after a mix-up at the back.
But the stage belonged to Havertz. He was inventive in the No10 role and he scored his first goal in blue when Abraham dummied a pass from Mason Mount through to him. Havertz strode clear and finished calmly.
At the other end, Chelsea were shaky, even with Silva alongside Fikayo Tomori. Emerson Palmieri struggled at left-back and Barnsley forced Willy Caballero to make far too many saves for Lampard’s liking.
It should have been harder for a Championship side to carve Chelsea open. Yet it is hard to see Rüdiger working his way back. Lampard has five center-backs and he will not stand in Rüdiger’s way if Chelsea receives offers for the German.
Lampard wants more leadership at the back and Silva was vocal. The 36-year-old Brazilian had a good workout before making way for Kurt Zouma in the 61st minute.
Ross Barkley added a third with a firm shot and Havertz scored again in the 55th minute, clipping past Collins after a lovely flick from Abraham.
Havertz completed his hat-trick just after the hour, rounding Collins before tapping into the empty net, and then he made way for another debutant. Ben Chilwell came on and Chelsea, who will face Leyton Orient or Tottenham next, added a sixth when Olivier Giroud headed in after coming off the bench