Friday 25 May 2018

Kenedy makes bright return in Blues cruise

Chelsea 5 Nottingham Forest 1

Chelsea's Brazilian striker Kenedy. Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Brazilian striker Kenedy. Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Matt Law

Social media and diplomatic relations might not be his thing, but Kenedy offered encouragement that he still might have a career as a Chelsea footballer.

The last time Kenedy did anything of note, Chelsea were forced to issue a grovelling apology in both English and Mandarin after the Brazilian had posted a video on Instagram of a sleeping security guard with the message: "Wake up China. You idiot."

It was roughly 3am on Thursday morning in China when Kenedy marked his first Chelsea appearance since being sent home from the pre-season tour in disgrace with a goal against Nottingham Forest.

Quite what Chinese football fans and the newspaper that wrote 'China does not welcome a player like this; nor does China welcome a team like this' will make of the fact Kenedy was among Chelsea's Carabao Cup goalscorers remains to be seen.

But head coach Antonio Conte will be delighted with Kenedy's comeback in the thrashing of Forest that also saw Charly Musonda score on his full debut and Michy Batshuayi net a hat-trick.

Ethan Ampadu, who turned 17 last week, became the ninth youngest player in Chelsea's history when he replaced Cesc Fabregas in the second half.

Chelsea's Ethan Ampadu in action with Nottingham Forest's Ben Osborn. Photo: Paul Childs/Action Images via Reuters
Chelsea's Ethan Ampadu in action with Nottingham Forest's Ben Osborn. Photo: Paul Childs/Action Images via Reuters

David Luiz served the first of his three-game suspension for his red card against Arsenal, which meant Andreas Christensen stepped into Chelsea's back three. It emerged yesterday that Luiz had fractured a bone in his wrist when he collided with an advertising hoarding during the Arsenal clash.

The Brazilian is now training with a cast on and the injury will not prevent him facing Atletico Madrid in the Champions League next week.

Musonda was handed his first start, while 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu, Jake-Clarke-Salter and Dujon Sterling were all on the' bench.

It was Musonda who jinked his way out of trouble to help set up Kenedy's opener. The Belgian sprayed the ball to Antonio Rudiger, whose cross was coolly cushioned into the net by the Brazilian.

Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi celebrates scoring their fifth goal with team mates. Photo: Paul Childs/Action Images via Reuters
Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi celebrates scoring their fifth goal with team mates. Photo: Paul Childs/Action Images via Reuters

The visitors were two down in just the 19th minute. Eden Hazard, making his first start of the season since undergoing ankle surgery, sent through Batshuayi and the Belgian striker beat Stephen Henderson with a deflected shot.

The tie was effectively killed five minutes before the break, when Musonda marked his full debut with a goal after being set up by Fabregas.

Irish Independent

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