PLENTY IN RESERVE
A combination of first and reserve team players ran out comfortable 4-0 winners against a QPR XI at Cobham on Tuesday.
Despite dominating for the full 90 minutes, it wasn't until the second half that our superiority showed, as goals from Jacob Mellis, Salomon Kalou, Fabio Borini and Jeffrey Bruma sealed the victory.
It was a strong team put out by Paul Clement, in charge for the game, which included first team regulars Michael Ballack and Salomon Kalou, as well as Daniel Sturridge, Hilario, Michael Mancienne and Sam Hutchinson.
Chelsea, who were being watched by Carlo Ancelotti and John Terry, started well with a number of slick passing moves on the perfect Cobham turf.
Sturridge and Kalou were both finding space between and behind the QPR backline, which featured last season's caretaker player-manager Gareth Ainsworth, but could not quite get shots away.
In midfield Ballack's calming influence was clear to see, while at the back Mancienne and Bruma were doing a good job of cleaning up any QPF forays forwards.
All that was missing was a goal, Ballack's cross was diverted wide and then Scott Sinclair shot high, before the German released Sturridge, who beat his man and chipped the goalkeeper, only to see his shot rebound back off the crossbar. His next chance took only another five minutes to materialise, this time forcing a fantastic low save from the QPR keeper.
At half-time Ross Turnbull replaced Hilario in goal, while Shaun Cummings and Carl Magnay came in for Hutchinson and Mancienne at the back
The pattern of play remained the same, Chelsea on top but unable to convert chances. A break involving Patrick van Aanholt, Kalou and Sturridge eventually ended with Ballack firing wide when well-placed.
Moments later Cork won midfield possession, releasing Kalou who jinked down the left and shot, hit effort cleared off the line.
Finally the opener arrived, Jacob Mellis the man to finish, half-volleying low beneath the keeper from Sturridge's early cross. Once again the move had begun with an interception, this time Bruma on the edge of his own area before advancing with the ball and releasing the summer signing.
Within a few minutes the lead was doubled. Sinclair swung in a free-kick from the left and Kalou, unmarked, side-footed home the easiest of finishes from close range.
Clement immediately made changes, with four youngsters given match time, allowing those with first team summer experience a break.
Magnay and sub Michael Woods both had half-chances, the latter coming after a smart exchange between central midfielders, he picking up the ball and spreading to Mellis before receiving a pinpoint return 12 yards out. The shot was impressively pushed away to safety.
With a little under 15 minutes remaining Chelsea were awarded a penalty, Fabio Borini brought down by the goalkeeper, and firing the spot kick home himself, before Bruma made it four with another burst forward.
For a second time he won possession, but this time decided to follow his pass forwards, eventually running on to Jacopo Sala's through-ball and clipping around the advancing goalkeeper.
Finally Turnbull was tested, going down low to his left to prevent a volley, before Borini had another chance at the other end, taking advantage of lax QPR defending but unable to beat the keeper.
That was the last action of a satisfying afternoon for the Blues
Chelsea (4-4-2 diamond): Hilario (Turnbull h-t); Hutchinson (Cummings h-t), Bruma, Mancienne (Magnay h-t), Van Aanholt; Cork, Sinclair (Woods 60), Mellis (McEachran 70), Ballack (Sala 60); Kalou (Borini 60), Sturridge (Philliskirk 60).