Own goal helps Chelsea see off Shrews

Shrewsbury Town 1 Chelsea 2

Didier Drogba scored one goal and forced the error that led to the winner as Chelsea moved into the Capital One Cup quarter-finals.

Drogba’s beautifully controlled shot put the Blues ahead after the break and although substitute Andy Mangan fired a gutsy Shrewsbury side level, Jermaine Grandison’s unfortunate own goal gifted the visitors victory.

Chelsea ultimately deserved the win, but the result of a pulsating cup tie played in teeming rain was in doubt until the final whistle.

A much changed line-up, which saw Nathan Ake start in midfield and Danish defender Andreas Christensen make his first-team debut at right-back, lacked cohesion and quality for the opening half-hour.

The Blues did threaten early on through Oscar’s shot and two tame Andre Schurrle strikes.

But the Shrews, who have won their last four games and are third in League Two, looked sharper and had the better opportunities until the latter stages of the half.

Blues keeper Petr Cech had to make a sprawling near-post save to keep out Nathaniel Knight-Percival’s header from a corner and Bobby Grant also shot over.

But Chelsea, with captain Drogba and Oscar leading the way, began to find their passes and dominate possession in the final 15 minutes before the interval.

The lively Mohamed Salah was off target with a series of increasingly wayward strikes, and Schurrle wasted the best opening when he declined the chance to head for goal following a swift break involving Drogba and Salah.

But the same trio combined to put Chelsea ahead in a commanding start to the second period.

Schurrle’s purposeful run ended with him finding Salah via a deflected pass and the Egyptian winger’s lay-off was expertly turned in by Drogba for his third goal in three games.

Moments later Schurrle forced a breathtaking fingertip save from home keeper Jayson Leutwiler.

And after the hosts almost levelled through a deflected Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro shot following a free-kick, Drogba tested the keeper with a fierce 20-yard effort.

But although Chelsea seemed comfortable, Shrewsbury were far from being outclassed and their ever-present danger from set-pieces paid off when substitute Mangan blasted the ball home from close range.

An instant response was demanded by Jose Mourinho and the Blues boss got it when substitute Willian played in an inviting cross that was unluckily headed into his own net by Grandison while under pressure from the excellent Drogba.

Chelsea: Cech; Christensen, Zouma, Cahill, Filipe Luis; Mikel (Matic 80), Ake; Salah (Willian 80), Oscar (Hazard 93), Schurrle; Drogba.
Subs not used: Schwarzer, Terry, Baker, Brown.

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