John Terry, Cesc Fabregas, Michy Batshuayi – who scored twice – and Kurt Zouma featured for Chelsea’s development side against Southampton on Monday afternoon.
A late goal by Marco van Ginkel gave the hosts a 3-2 win at the Blues’ Cobham training ground, where Zouma continued his comeback from a long-term knee injury.
It was Zouma’s fourth appearance for Chelsea’s second string following the 22-year-old defender’s recent return to action.
Clubs are able to field three over-age outfield players in Under-23 matches, enabling the Blues to give Terry, Fabregas and Van Ginkel run-outs, while Batshuayi was eligible to play as he was 22 at the start of the season.
Fabregas, who has recovered from a minor injury, Batshuayi and club captain Terry have not been first-team regulars this season, so the match was a chance for them to maintain their fitness.
Southampton led twice, with goals from Batshuayi hauling Chelsea level before Van Ginkel, who has been working his way back to fitness after a knee problem, won it with a brilliant late strike.
Teenage striker Dominic Solanke also played, and hit the bar, while Zouma had an effort cleared off the line in an action-packed game.