Torres shows flashes of his old quality as Chelsea secure comfortable win
Ramires also on target as Jose Mourinho’s visiting side ease into next round
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reacts during the Capital One Cup, third round match at the County Ground, Swindon last night. Photo: David Davies/PA
Swindon Town 0 Chelsea 2: Jose Mourinho had billed this as an opportunity for those cast into the shadows to demand more time in the limelight though, even in progressing against Swindon Town of League One, this felt like something of a false test.
Chelsea had won this tie by the break and weathered whatever the hosts flung at them thereafter. But it was hard to envisage many of the fringe personnel having convinced the management they should be included from the start at White Hart Lane on Saturday lunchtime.
Juan Mata, on a third start under the Portuguese, will have enjoyed conjuring from the No10 role currently denied him in the first-choice lineup by Oscar.
Indeed, with David Luiz shunted from centre-half to midfield before the end and the excellent Ramires retired at the break, only Fernando Torres of the contenders will have truly offered food for thought.
Both the visitors’ first-half goals were slickly taken, the home defence sliced open and Wes Foderingham, an excellent goalkeeper at the lower level, powerless to resist.
Mata could take heart in his involvement in the first even if it was born of Ramires’s trademark leggy burst, the Brazilian having been summoned from the bench early on to replace the injured Marco van Ginkel.
Ramires surged into the penalty area, then slipped Mata into the box at an angle. The playmaker’s shot was pushed away at full-stretch by Foderingham, only for Torres to convert from a tight angle.
Torres had already been denied an earlier opener by the goalkeeper’s fine save by then with Mata’s supply-line constant. Yet the forward reminded he can create when offered time and space in which to revel. His through ball minutes later was collected by the rampaging Ramires who finished with aplomb to secure the win.
SWINDON: Foderingham, Nathan Thompson, Hall, Ward, McEveley, Luongo, Kasim, Ajose (El-Gabbas 73), Pritchard, N’Guessan, Ranger (Louis Thompson 46). Subs not used: Storey,Barthram, Belford, Branco, Wood. Booked: Nathan Thompson.
CHELSEA: Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand, van Ginkel (Ramires 10), Essien, De Bruyne (Ba 78), Mata, Willian ,Torres, Ramires (Terry 46). Subs not used: Schurrle, Eto’o, Blackman, Baker. Booked: Azpilicueta, Essien.
Referee: Michael Oliver