Jose Mourinho took the gamble of resting eight available first-teamers for Chelsea’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Coca-Cola League One high-flyers Colchester.
Frank Lampard, Hernan Crespo and Joe Cole all started on the bench as Mourinho tried to keep key men fresh for Wednesday’s European showdown with Barcelona.
Arjen Robben, Peter Cech, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Asier Del Horno and Geremi were left out of the 16. John Terry and William Gallas were suspended – while Claude Makelele, fit after injury, was not risked with Barca in mind.
Paulo Ferreira was back for the champions after a thigh problem, and Didier Drogba played for the first time since the African Nations Cup.
Chelsea: Cudicini, Johnson, Huth, Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Diarra, Wright-Phillips, Essien, Maniche, Duff, Drogba. Subs: Lampard, Crespo, Joe Cole, Carlton Cole, Pidgeley.
Colchester: Davison, Duguid, Baldwin, Brown, White, Yeates, Danns, Watson, Halford, Garcia, Iwelumo. Subs: Williams, Izzet, Gerken, Elokobi, Chilvers.
Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire)