Jose Mourinho singled John Mikel Obi and Ramires out for praise after Chelsea’s League Cup win at Walsall.
The Blues will travel to Stoke in round four after a 4-1 victory in which Ramires, Loic Remy, Pedro and Kenedy scored.
Skipper John Terry returned to the starting line-up and looked composed at the back, while boss Mourinho felt his team’s dominance in midfield was all-important.
“John [Terry] was solid, normal, no problem,” Mourinho said. “We brought a good solid defence and the midfield was really good. Mikel and Ramires played amazingly well.”
And Mourinho gave credit to Walsall, who pulled a goal back after going 2-0 down and battled on after Kenedy marked his full debut for Chelsea by scoring early in the second half.
Mourinho said: “I analysed Walsall before. I was surprised with the quality of their play.
“They were a different team to normal in League One; not so physical, and technically fast. They were very well organised.
“I haven’t found a team in League One playing the quality of football that they tried to play.”