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VIDEO: Salah assists to help Chelsea through to League Cup quarters
A boring first-half at the Greenhouse Meadow ended with a 0-0 draw as both teams fail to score. The home team played unexpectedly well as they were able to hold the Premier League leaders and not allow them any space.
The only threat by the Blues in the first-half came from Mohamed Salah, who created a couple of chances that were poorly handled. The Egyptian posed his first threat with a great run from midfield to the opposition’s penalty box, where he crossed the ball towards Schurrle, who poorly headed it for the defence to easily clear.
22-year-old Salah, who was only making his second start for Chelsea this season, since the Blues’ previous Cup tie with Bolton, came more and more into the game as he tried a couple of shots, but they were far off the target, with one going out for a throw-in.
It was a great start to the second-half for the Egyptian international as he registered his first assist of the season with a one touch pass to Ivory Coast icon Didier Drogba, who placed the ball easily into the back of the net to give Chelsea the lead in the 49th minute.
A very fair and equal second-half saw the home team try to get back in the game with a couple of chances that eventually gave them an equalizer in the 77th minute. Mickey Mellon’s substitute, Andrew Mangan, needed only 90 seconds in the game to score from a ball bounced off Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel.
Salah was close to assisting another one after he freed Filipe Luís from the left side but the ball went a bit long into the keeper’s hands.
Jose Mourinho responded with a double change as he replaced Mohamed Salah and John Obi Mikel with Willian and Matic respectively. Again, an effective sub, as Willian crossed the ball that founded its way into the net by an own goal header from Grandinson; putting Chelsea back into the lead in the 81st minute.
Shrewsbury fought till the last minute and continued to show a great performance but failed to score. A late sub saw Chelsea’s star Eden Hazard come on, replacing Oscar in the 93rd minute and securing a 2-1 win as the Blues advanced to the quarter-finals over a tough League Two side.