The match between Chelsea and AFC Wimbledon, separated by over 60 positions on the football hierarchy, was never expected to be a beautiful spectacle, a common scenario when Chelsea is involved.
In the 19th minute, James Tilley put the Dons ahead after Robert Sanchez conceded a penalty at Stamford Bridge, setting a grim tone for Chelsea.
Yet, amidst the lack of brilliance, Chelsea managed to secure a victory.
Noni Madueke’s moment of excellence just before halftime earned the home team a penalty, adding to his scanty goal tally since his move from PSV Eindhoven.
Scoring only his second goal for Chelsea, Madueke’s contribution was vital.
The game’s turning point came in the 72nd minute when substitute Enzo Fernandez capitalized on defensive negligence by AFC Wimbledon.
His goal, a calm finish from outside the box into an open net, secured Chelsea’s victory.
The win wasn’t attractive, but it marked Chelsea’s second consecutive triumph across competitions. However, several talking points emerged from the game.
Ahead of the match, discussions centered on Chelsea’s agreement with Manchester City for Cole Palmer’s signing.
The 21-year-old winger, versatile in both wide and central positions, is a sought-after addition for Chelsea, compensating for recent injuries to Chukwuemeka and Nkunku.
Noni Madueke’s performance against Wimbledon showcased his potential to challenge Palmer’s impact once he joins Chelsea.
Madueke’s agility and pace were remarkable, leaving fans in awe and sparking praise on social media.
Notably, Benoit Badiashile, recovering from a lengthy hamstring injury, is nearing the end of his rehabilitation.
While the match against Wimbledon arrived too soon for his return, his comeback strengthens Chelsea’s defensive options.
Levi Colwill’s injury in the same game might have raised concerns, but Pochettino reassured that it wasn’t severe. Regardless, with Badiashile’s return, Chelsea gains a capable alternative should Colwill need rest.
In brief, the Chelsea vs. AFC Wimbledon match might not have been pleasing to the eye, but it highlighted Noni Madueke’s potential, introduced Cole Palmer’s imminent impact, and showcased the returning Badiashile’s reinforcement in the defense.