Michy Batshuayi nets hat-trick as Chelsea cruise past Forest
Michy Batshuayi scored a hat-trick as Chelsea provided a glimpse of the future with a 5-1 Carabao Cup rout of Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night.
Kenedy and the impressive Charly Musonda were also on target and Tendayi Darikwa scored a late consolation for Forest as the Premier League champions advanced to the fourth round with ease.
Ethan Ampadu became the first Chelsea player born this millennium, a week after his 17th birthday, on a night when Eden Hazard delighted on his first start of the season after his broken ankle.
A week after the 6-0 Champions League win over Qarabag and following Sunday's goalless draw with Arsenal, Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte rotated his options once again ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Stoke.
Nine Chelsea changes and eight for Championship Forest, who lost to Wolves last Saturday and next play John Terry's Aston Villa, showed where the teams' priorities lie.
Michael Mancienne's place in the centre of the Forest defence was a reminder of the Chelsea academy products who have not make the grade. He made six appearances for the Blues between 2006 and 2009.
Musonda and Andreas Christensen were the academy graduates given chances to impress on Wednesday night. Both did so, while Jake Clarke-Salter, Dujon Sterling and Ampadu came off the bench.
Hazard, Batshuayi and Musonda formed an all-Belgium attacking triumvirate which was too much for opponents who also had defensive lapses.
After some early defensive jitters of their own from Kenedy and Willy Caballero, the goalkeeper who was making his debut a week prior to his 36th birthday, Chelsea took the lead.
Kenedy's Blues career looked like it could be coming to an end when he was sent home from the pre-season tour to Asia following some ill-advised social media posts on China. He apologised and has been reintegrated into the squad.
The Brazilian scored his first goal since March 2016 when he ghosted behind the Forest defence to meet Antonio Rudiger's cross with a side-footed shot that beat goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.
Next came some good fortune as Hazard's through ball took a deflection off Jack Hobbs and Batshuayi showed composure to finish.
Kieran Dowell curled a free-kick onto the crossbar for Forest, who, having come close to halving it, saw their deficit increase.
Cesc Fabregas found Musonda inside the right edge of the area and the Belgian fired the ball under Henderson for his first Chelsea goal.
Musonda prodded wide from another Fabregas pass before half-time and Hazard struck a post soon after the restart after making space for himself on the left edge of the area.
Hazard then raced on to a long Fabregas pass and deceived Henderson. He might have scored himself but instead passed for Batshuayi to roll the ball in.
Dowell shot narrowly over before Fabregas was replaced by Ampadu, who signed from Exeter in the summer with a fee still to be settled with the Devon club. Ampadu did not look out of place.
Chelsea scored a fifth when Kenedy's shot from a tight angle bounced back off the bar and in off Batshuayi's lap for his third.
There was still time for Forest to score, as Darikwa netted with the final kick of the game.