Benoit Badiashile marked his return to Chelsea’s lineup in a 2-0 Carabao Cup victory over Blackburn at Stamford Bridge. The French defender hadn’t played since getting injured in May during a match against Nottingham Forest. In this game, he made an impact both defensively and offensively. Reece James also returned to the starting lineup.
In the second half, Raheem Sterling found the net, sealing the win for Chelsea. Although Blackburn defended well, they never posed a serious threat in the match.
This victory puts Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup for the 24th time out of 33 attempts. They are inching closer to winning the League Cup, a feat they last achieved in 2015 when Mauricio Pochettino was the manager of the runner-up, Tottenham.
Blackburn hadn’t played a League Cup match at Stamford Bridge for 26 years, and more than 3,000 supporters made the journey, hoping for a better outcome than in 1997 when they were eliminated after a penalty shootout.
The game started quietly, with both teams looking to find their footing. Chelsea had a chance around 15 minutes in when James took a shot that was blocked by the goalkeeper. Badiashile cleared a Blackburn chance, and James had another attempt from a distance. Blackburn’s defense held firm, and their goalkeeper, Wahlstedt, made a crucial save to deny Enzo Fernandez’s shot.
The ball ended up at Badiashile’s feet, and he scored after 30 minutes, while there were penalty appeals on both sides that the referee dismissed. In the second half, Harry Leonard missed narrowly, and Fernandez’s shot was saved by Wahlstedt, who couldn’t stop Chelsea’s second goal.
Sterling scored with a powerful shot from the edge of the area after Cole Palmer won the ball in Blackburn’s half. Both teams made changes, and Blackburn was lucky when a deflected shot hit the post.
Chelsea tried for a third goal, but their efforts from Gallagher and Sterling went wide. In stoppage time, Blackburn’s substitute Arnor Sigurdsson almost scored a consolation goal.