Chelsea unofficially kicked off the Mauricio Pochettino era with a 5-0 rout of the severely-outclassed Wrexham.
The Blues and Dragons took to a sold-out Kenan Stadium, home of the famous University of North Carolina Tarheels. While not quite a college football score, Chelsea did inflict preseason pain upon the Welsh side, owned by Hollywood stars, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
Christopher Nkunku scored on his debut for the club while fellow summer signing Nicolas Jackson impressed in the first-half.
So too did young Dutch prodigy, Ian Maatsen, who scored a brace as Chelsea cruised to a 2-0 halftime lead. Conor Gallagher came off the bench to add the third before Nkunku and Ben Chilwell rounded out the destructive performance.
Here, Mail Sport brings you player ratings from the first game of Wrexham’s historic trip across the Atlantic.
Ben Chilwell (L), Christopher Nkunku (C) and Raheem Sterling (R) celebrate the easy victory
Jamie Cumming – 5
Did not have to make a save in his time on the pitch.
Malo Gusto – 5
Very comfortable time for the right-back, formerly of Lyon. Looked comfortable in tandem with Moreira.
Trevoh Chalobah – 5
Went largely unchallenged in a very comfortable outing.
Bashir Humphreys – 6
Looked comfortable on the ball throughout and provided cover to his fellow defenders.
Marc Cucurella – 5
Was substituted at half-time… and then came back on for Chalobah in the final minutes!
Cesare Casadei was one of Chelsea’s standout players – impressing with his dribbling ability
Cesare Casadei – 8
The former Inter man showed flashes as he drove forward fiercely with the ball, at times. Made some good runs when shifted forward in the second-half.
Andrey Santos – 8
Showed he has adequate ball-carrying abilities. Did enough to walk off pleased.
Diego Moreira – 6
Struggled to acclimatize to the game early but there is plenty more to come — as evidenced by his passing and pace.
Carney Chukwuemeka – 5
Had moments which will breed promise for the future. Will need more games in him to create greater consistency.
Ian Maatsen and Nicolas Jackson celebrate one of the Dutchman’s two goals in Chapel Hill, NC
Ian Maatsen – 8
Great run in support of Jackson and did what he needed to do with a clean finish. Combined brilliantly with Jackson again for his second, and even better, finish.
Nicolas Jackson – 7
Superb run and close control for the goal. Beautifully weighted pass for Maatsen to score. Did some nice work with his back to goal for Maatsen’s second. Plenty for Chelsea fans to be excited about.
Raheem Sterling – 7 (45′)
Wasted a good chance to hit the target shortly after he came off the bench. Definitely should’ve scored with a free header on 70 minutes. Did tremendously well to set up Gallagher for the third.
Conor Gallagher – 6 (45′)
Stroked home from outside the box – helped certainly by the goalkeeper, who should’ve done better.
Lucas Bergstrom – 6 (76′)
Had to make a quick reflex save from a header within minutes of his introduction.
Conor Gallagher scored the penultimate goal of the game with a finish from outside the box
Christopher Nkunku – 6 (45′)
Was largely anonymous for the second-half until a late goal came after rounding the keeper thanks to a slick run in-behind.
Alfie Gilchrist – 6 (45′)
Did well to deny Wrexham a late opportunity at goal and showed he was willing to get physical to keep the League Two club at bay.
Angelo Gabriel – 6 (45′)
Sterling let the youngster down with a poor finish after a fantastic ball to the Englishman. A superb through ball to set up Chilwell showed what he can do.
Lewis Hall – 5 (45′)
Had it easy against the Wrexham midfield. Look in-control, as he should’ve.
Wrexham struggled to match the intensity and skill of their fancied Premier League opponents
Ben Foster – 5
Arguably could have reacted quicker for Maatsen’s second goal. Otherwise, could do little about Chelsea’s opener.
Eoghan O’Connell – 5
Put under pressure for most of the first-half. Did enough to survive.
Ben Tozer – 4
Struggled to contain Jackson through the middle. The gap in class showed.
Tom O’Connor – 4
Like Tozer, failed to deal with the threat of Jackson and Maatsen.
Anthony Forde – 5
Provided some width down the right and made the Chelsea center halves earn their keep.
Wrexham striker Paul Mullin impressed during his first-half display for the League Two club
Elliot Lee – 6
Mullen aside, Lee was perhaps Wrexham’s best. Looked lively often when he get on the ball. His acrobatic bicycle kick thrilled for a brief moment – until the direction was realized.
Jacob Mendy – 6
Did well to prevent a Chelsea attack before being substituted at half-time.
Sam Dalby – 5
Couldn’t get on the end of Mullin’s ball early in the second half – and was subbed shortly thereafter.
Paul Mullin – 7
By far the best player for Wrexham; provided a desperately-needed outlet and showed he could certainly hold his own.
James Jones – 5
Andy Cannon – 5.
Rob Lainton – 4 (45′)
Made a sweeping clearance with his feet to deny Chelsea a shot on goal but should’ve kept out Gallagher’s effort.
Ryan Barnett – 7 (45′)
Tried to provide some verve down the right-hand side. Provided a beautiful ball which should’ve been an assist. Wrexham’s second-best on the night.
Billy Waters – 4 (62′)
Completely fluffed a chance to pull one back with 20 minutes to play.
Ollie Palmer – 6 (62′)
Forced a save from Bergstrom from a corner which could not be turned home. Couldn’t hold off Cucurella to have another opportunity on goal.
Ryan Barnett provided some flair from the bench against Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea team
Aaron Hayden – 6 (45′)
Showed what an athlete he can be – his pace was telling, even against the Blues.
Cleworth (’62) – 5,Davies (’62) – 5, McAlinden (’62) – 5, Boyle (’45) – 5, Young (’62) – 5, McFadzean (’45) – 5.