Hat-trick for Havertz as Chelsea stroll in League Cup

AP – Three goals for Kai Havertz. A debut for Thiago Silva.

Things are slowly falling into place for Chelsea after its offseason spending spree.

After two underwhelming appearances in the Premier League, Havertz — signed for USD92 million from German club Bayer Leverkusen — announced himself in English football by scoring a first career hat-trick in Chelsea’s 6-0 win over second-tier Barnsley in the third round of the League Cup yesterday.

The 21-year-old German international played in his favoured position behind the striker after being tried in various roles in the forward line so far against Brighton and Liverpool by manager Frank Lampard.

He looked more at home as a ‘number 10’ and his finishing was assured, albeit against modest opposition. “It was a great night for Kai,” Lampard said, “and the first of many for him”.

Thiago Silva, meanwhile, lasted 61 minutes before being withdrawn by Lampard as the Brazil centre back looks to build up match sharpness before a league debut, which could come at West Bromwich Albion tomorrow.

Chelsea has spent over USD250 million on new players ahead of this season, with Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell also joining for big fees. Chilwell came on as a 66th-minute substitute against Barnsley for his debut, replacing Havertz, and set up the sixth goal scored by Olivier Giroud.

Chelsea will next play Tottenham or fourth-tier Leyton Orient, whose third-round fixture was postponed after some Orient players contracted the coronavirus.

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz (L) celebrates with his teammates during the English League Cup third round football match against Barnsley at Stamford Bridge in London. PHOTO: AP