Chelsea booked their place in the next round of the Carabao Cup after coasting past Nottingham Forest 5-1 in the third round.
As many had expected, despite making nine changes, Antonio Conte’s side dominated the first half, with many of the Blues’ youngsters taking their chances when given the opportunity.
Chelsea opened the scoring in the 13 minute, with Brazilian Kenedy, who was deployed as a left wing-back, as he coolly slotted past Stephen Henderson, after Antonio Rudiger put a delightful ball into the penalty area.
Michy Batshuayi doubled the Stamford Bridge outfits lead six minutes later, with a pass from international compatriot Eden Hazard, who himself was making his first start since recovering from an ankle injury.
Nottingham Forest came close to getting one back after Cesc Fabregas conceded a free kick on the edge of the area after giving the ball away.
Left-back Kieran Dowell struck a beautiful shot over the wall, which cannoned back off the crossbar, leaving Willy Caballero no chance.
Fabregas had continued to pull the strings in the middle of the field for The Blues, putting in pass after pass to create real opportunities for the attacking line.
The Spanish maestro’s creativity was eventually converted into a goal, when he played a ball through to Charley Musonda, who struck the ball across Henderson, and found the bottom corner.
The youngster made his full debut for the side and capped his performance with a goal, which he could not hide the emotion from when celebrating, and almost had a second just before the half-time whistle.
Mark Warburton’s side started off the second-half brightly, with Ben Osborn having a shot saved from Caballero just after the restart, however, The Blues decided to turn the screw once again.
Hazard almost made it four, after he weaved in and out of Forest’s defenders, sending a shot across Henderson, crashing against the inside of the post and bouncing away.
The Belgium international had another chance to score after rounding the ‘keeper, however, he was unselfish and passed the ball across to Batshuayi for his second of the game.
The striker then bagged his first hat-trick for the London outfit, after Rudiger sent a ball across the field to Kenedy who hit a half-volley against the crossbar which fortunately hit Batshuayi and went in.
The Tricky Trees had more opportunities to score a goal during the second half, with Ben Brereton and Zach Clough, who both came on as substitutes both had decent chances.
Tendayi Darikwa scored a consolation goal for the visitors with the very last kick before referee Christopher Kavanagh blew the final whistle.
Game for youngsters
Conte decided to use the game as a platform for some of the academy players, as well as keeping a mix of experienced heads and it certainly worked for him.
As well as Musonda making his debut, the Italian gave Ethan Ampadu, Jake Clarke-Salter and Dujon Sterling some time on the field to make showcase what they can do.