Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte was delighted with Kenedy’s comeback in the thrashing of Nottingham Forest 5-1 on Wednesday night that also saw Charly Musonda score on his full debut and Michy Batshuayi net a hat-trick.
Kenedy’s goal had been slightly harsh on Forest, who had started brightly on the 13th anniversary of the great Brian Clough’s death, but the visitors were two down in just the 19th minute.
Eden Hazard, making his first start of the season since undergoing ankle surgery, sent through Batshuayi and the Belgian striker beat Forest goalkeeper Stephen Henderson with a deflected shot.
Stamford Bridge, Hazard looked sharp in attack and Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko dominated the midfield, with the former having a hand in all three goals before the break.
Ethan Ampadu became the first Chelsea player born this millennium, a week after his 17th birthday, on a night when Eden Hazard delighted on his first start of the season after his broken ankle.
Fabregas was involved in a sweeping move that led to Brazilian wing-back Kenedy scored the opener and he won possession in the build up for Batshuayi’s close-range strike to make it 2-0.
chelsea Manager Antonio Conte made nine changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Arsenal on Sunday but a strong and vastly experienced line-up proved way too strong for their Championship opponents.
Batshuayi’s second, after some brilliant selfless approach by Belgian team-mate Hazard, made it 4-0 soon after the interval and he completed his treble from on the line after Kenedy’s fierce strike had hit the frame of the goal.
Forest, who themselves made eight changes from the team beaten by Wolves on Saturday, almost scored at 2-0 down when on-loan Everton midfielder Kieran Dowell hit the bar with a clipped 20-yard free-kick.
Chelsea will now face Everton at Stamford Bridge in the fourth round.