REPORT: MK Dons 0-4 Chelsea U21s: Dons out of cup after hammering by youth side featuring Batshuayi

Dons couldn't compete with a young and energetic Chelsea U21s side. Picture by Jane Russell
Dons couldn't compete with a young and energetic Chelsea U21s side. Picture by Jane Russell

MK Dons exited the Checkatrade Trophy after a 4-0 battering at home to a Chelsea U21 side featuring first team striker Michy Batshuayi.

It was a humbling evening for Robbie Neilson's side, but the result is put into some context when £33million striker Batshuayi scored two and grabbed an assist.

Gboly Ariyibi tries his luck with an acrobatic effort. Picture by Jane Russell

Gboly Ariyibi tries his luck with an acrobatic effort. Picture by Jane Russell

Dons, who made four changes from Saturday's FA Cup win over Maidstone, went into the break trailing by three after a first-half in which they were ran ragged by a lightning quick Chelsea side, and things didn't improve too much after the break either.

The visiting youngsters immediately showed that they would be causing problems with their pace, and Wieger Sietsma was called into some early action when he dived low to get a strong hand on Charly Musonda's thumping effort from the edge of the area.

Then England U17 World Cup winner Callum Hudson-Odoi teared down the left wing past George Williams, before cutting inside and curling his shot just wide.

Robbie Muirhead had Dons' first sight of goal, but miscued high and wide after good work from Gboly Ariyibi to tee him up in the box.

Sietsma tried to reach the ball ahead of Batshuayi. Picture by Jane Russell

Sietsma tried to reach the ball ahead of Batshuayi. Picture by Jane Russell

In a tournament where the idea is to blood young talent, the Dons defence may have been surprised to see first team striker Batshuayi, a Belgium international who played at Euro 2016 and picked up a title winner's medal last year, lining up in attack.

And his quality told after just 22 minutes when Batshuayi was set up on the edge of the box, and promptly hammered home a powerful low finish beyond Sietsma to open the scoring.

Dons somewhat stemmed the blue tide after shipping their first, and started to have more of the ball, though created little.

Ryan Seager went closest for the hosts when he got on the end of a whipped in cross from Muirhead, but the youngster could only head into the ground and over the bar.

Brandon Thomas-Asante had Dons' best chance of the game. Picture by Jane Russell

Brandon Thomas-Asante had Dons' best chance of the game. Picture by Jane Russell

But Dons just couldn't deal with the pace possessed by Joe Edwards' prospects, and conceded the second goal following a swift counter attack from their own corner.

Brandon Thomas-Asante was close to getting a shot away from the corner in the Dons' box, but Chelsea nipped in and swept down the left hand side.

Kenedy drilled in a low cross, presenting Batshuayi with a simple tap-in to claim his second of the game.

And things got worse just seconds before half-time when a speculative shot from Hudson-Odoi was spilled by Wietsma, with the ball creeping over the line - and audible groans of despair from the small crowd at the keeper's howler.

Michy Batshuayi was a surprise starter for Chelsea. Picture by Jane Russell

Michy Batshuayi was a surprise starter for Chelsea. Picture by Jane Russell

Whatever was said at half-time by the gaffer didn't have too much impact however, as Chelsea made it 4-0 just 10 minutes after the break.

A sublime flick in behind the defence from Batshuayi allowed Musonda a one-on-one, and he confidently dispatched it into the corner to add another to the visitors' tally.

Sensing his side perhaps needed some more seniority, Neilson sent on Peter Pawlett and Ed Upson for some damage limitation.

They may have been wondering what they were in for when they saw Hazard coming off the bench for the Blues. Thankfully the evening wasn't going to become impossible as it wasn't Eden, but his younger brother Kylian entering the field.

The changes seemed to have the desired effect as MK finally kept Chelsea at bay, even if it was too late.

And they soon managed to carve out some chances of their own, with Eduardo parrying a fizzing effort from Thomas-Asante after a neat move, before substitute Sam Nombe saw his header also saved by the keeper.

In truth this was a bit of a mismatch. Dons won't face too many teams in League One this year who have such frightening pace at their disposal, not to mention an international striker to call on.

Nevertheless it was a poor display from Dons, which will give Robbie Neilson plenty of food for thought as he turns his attention away from cups and back to the league for Saturday's encounter with promotion chasing Shrewsbury Town.

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 1,549 (158 away)

MK Dons: Sietsma, Williams, Wootton, Walsh, Golbourne, McGrandles (Upson, 64), Nesbitt, Ariyibi (Pawlett,64), Thomas-Asante, Seager (Nombe, 53), Muirhead.

Subs not used: Nicholls, Aneke, Agard, Kasumu.

Chelsea U21s: Eduardo; James, Ampadu, Clarke-Salter, Sterling, Chalobah (Sammut, 72), Scott (Christie-Davies, 82), Kenedy, Musona, Batshuayi, Hudson-Odoi (Hazard, 72).

Subs not used: Taylor-Crossdale, Bulka, Grant, Maddox.

Booked: McGrandles, Nombe, Williams, Scott