The Blues headed into this one on the back of a few tricky days.
After seeing off Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Arsenal in consecutive matches—putting an end to their winless streak—they faced the backlash of some unsavoury actions from Diego Costa.
The Spain international was banned for three matches after his repeated goading and violent actions towards Arsenal players, and Jose Mourinho will have been desperate for the football to do the talking against minnows Walsall, particularly in light of Eva Carneiro’s high-profile departure from Chelsea.
He got his wish, as the Pensioners—inspired by 19-year-old wideman Kenedy—contributed one assist and scored one as the reigning Capital One Cup champions advanced.
Kenedy set up his compatriot Ramires on 10 minutes, before Loic Remy doubled the Blues’ lead just before the break.
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James O’Connor responded for the home side, halving the Londoners’ deficit in the process, before a second-half double from Kenedy and Pedro confirmed the triumph.
Chelsea advance to an away tie against fellow Premier League side Stoke City.