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Chelsea 2-1 AFC Wimbledon Best match 20

                                   

E

nzo Fernandez scored his first Chelsea goal as we came from behind to advance into the Carabao Cup third round with a hard-fought victory over AFC Wimbledon.

With 20 minutes remaining and the contest locked at 1-1, the substitute calmly picked out the bottom corner of an empty net from distance following an error in the Wimbledon backline.

The first half had been a tale of two penalties. James Tilley put Wimbledon in front following a foul by Robert Sanchez, and we had to wait until just before the break to equalise. Noni Madueke was too quick and skilful for the Dons defence, and he made no mistake from the spot to score his first at the Bridge.

Setback to start

Chelsea :

                               enjoyed most of the possession early on but Wimbledon’s threat from set-pieces is well known, and it was via that route they took a surprise lead. Sanchez caught Harry Pell attempting to punch a wide free-kick clear, and Tilley smashed his penalty down the middle with 19 minutes played.

In response, Maatsen hit the side-netting with a deflected strike but our frustrations would continue until the stroke of half-time. Madueke, taking matters into his own hands, spun past his full-back in front of the West Stand before charging into the box. He beat another defender and then danced around Dons skipper Alex Pearce, who could only scythe the winger down.

Noni on the spot

It was all Madueke’s own making and so he deserved to take the spot-kick, coolly sending Alex Bass the wrong way for his maiden Blues goal on home soil.

Pochettino introduced Nicolas Jackson for Moreira at half-time and the Senegalese striker was immediately in the action, stinging Bass’ palms with a rising drive. Gallagher was the next to be denied by the keeper.

Axel Disasi had to stretch to block the lively Wimbledon sub Ali Al-Hamadi, but for the most part it was still all Chelsea. Enzo Fernandez, brought on midway through the second half, drew a flying save from Bass with a swerving long-ranger.

Enzo’s moment

The Argentinean’s first Chelsea goal was just around the corner, though. Maatsen chased a long ball and his persistence paid off as he forced an error; Bass’ clearance ricocheting off him and falling to Enzo. He calmly took a touch before passing the ball into the unguarded net from 20 yards out.

Madueke shot too close to Bass at the end of a rapid Blues counter-attack as we sought to finish the tie once and for all. With five minutes left, both Maatsen and Enzo saw curling efforts turned around the post by the increasingly busy Bass.

There was one final scare as Al-Hamadi briefly got free but found Disasi in his way. The Blues had been made to work hard for it, but our 100th League Cup game at the Bridge ended in victory.

What it means…

We will contest a third round tie at home to Brighton in the week commencing 25 September.

What comes next…

The Blues are back at the Bridge on Saturday when we welcome Nottingham Forest to SW6 for our final fixture before the September international break. 

The teams

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Sanchez; Humphreys, Disasi, Colwill (Gusto 65), Cucurella; Gallagher (c), Ugochukwu; Madueke (Caicedo 81), Maatsen, Moreira (Jackson h/t); Burstow (Enzo 65)

Unused subs Petrovic, Bergstrom, Samuels-Smith, Thiago Silva, Chilwell

Scorers Madueke 45+1, Enzo 72

Booked Maatsen 88

AFC Wimbledon (4-2-3-1): Bass; Ogundere, Lewis, Pearce (c) (Brown 56), Johnson; Williams, Ball; Tilley (McLean 88), Pell (Bugiel 78), Neufville (Sasu 78); Davison (Al-Hamadi 56)

Unused subs Tzanev, Lock, Sutcliffe, Jennings

Scorer Tilley (pen) 19

Booked Pearce 47, Pell 51

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