Chelsea progressed to the Fourth Round of the Carabao Cup in style by putting six goals past Barnsley. It was an evening to remember for record signing Kai Havertz, who opened his account for the club with a sublime hat-trick.
It was also the first opportunity to see Thiago Silva in Blue, with his silky ability on the ball on show from the early stages of the game. It was the Tykes that dominated these opening exchanges, with Callum Styles in particular causing problems for the Chelsea defence.
The first major chance of the game fell to Cauley Woodrow, whose effort from 25-yards was tipped over the bar by Willy Caballero.
It was against the run of play that Chelsea took the lead just five minutes later. Barnsley were rattled by a typically opportunistic Tammy Abraham stealing the ball on the edge of the box and slotting home to open the scoring. This was to spell the start of a period dominance. Kai Havertz and Mason Mount linked up well to set up a goal scoring opportunity that was well saved by Brad Collins.
Havertz was to score his first goal for Chelsea just two minutes later from a Mount cross, diverted into his path by Abraham. The linkup between the three youngsters offered much potential for the season ahead, and continued to create throughout the game.
Things were to get even better for Chelsea in the second half. Ross Barkley added to the tally shortly after the break, assisted by Havertz after Barnsley lost the ball playing out from the back. Mateo Kovacic intercepted after another routine error from a defender, setting up Havertz to score his second goal of the night.
Chelsea were relentless and eager for more goals. Tammy Abraham looked especially dynamic, assisting Havertz for his hat-trick with a special line-breaking pass. Havertz rounded Brad Collins and into the empty net to secure his first trio in senior football.
The German international made way for debutant Ben Chilwell shortly afterwards; giving fans their first opportunity to see the former Leicester man in Chelsea Blue. Olivier Giroud also replaced Tammy Abraham shortly afterwards.
Giroud looked sharp in his cameo, regularly linking up with Mount to force an especially fine save from Bradley Collins from inside the area. It was through Giroud that Chelsea scored their final goal of the evening, heading home a neat cross from Ben Chilwell.
It was a performance ladened with promise for Chelsea tonight, consisting of clinical finishing and tidier linkups that had not been seen in previous matches.
The showing was not flawless. Barnsley did not cave and duly tested Willy Caballero throughout the game. There was a slight lack of coordination and familiarity in the back line that must be built upon when facing better opposition.
However, it was a display that should breathe confidence into the West Londoners ahead of crucial league outings ahead.
Chelsea will face Leyton Orient or Tottenham in the Fourth Round of the Carabao Cup on 29/30 September.