A brace from Belgian international Michy Batshuayi helped Chelsea Under-21s to a 4-0 victory at Stadium MK - a result which saw MK Dons exit the Checkatrade Trophy
Neilson made a number of changes to his starting XI, handing starts to the likes of Wieger Sietsma, Robbie Muirhead and Brandon Thomas-Asante.
His team lined up against a Chelsea Under-21s side which included Belgium international Mitchy Batshuayi as its frontman - just 24 hours after featuring in the UEFA Champions League for the first team - and a number of other first-team Blues including Eduardo, Charly Musonda and Kenedy.
Musonda had the game’s first chance two minutes in when he stung the palms of Sietsma with a right-footed drive. Shortly after, Callum Hudson-Odoi sent a shot just wide of the right post from the edge of the area.
The Dons created their first opportunity of the tie in the 10th minute through Gboly Ariyibi. The winger delivered in a cross which made it through to Muirhead but the Dons’ number 16 couldn’t find the target with his first-time shot.
Scott Wootton then had a goal-bound header cleared away by a Chelsea defender from Scott Golbourne’s corner before a superb run from George Williams set up a chance for Ryan Seager moments later - his effort was blocked.
Just as it appeared the Dons were taking control of the tie, Chelsea’s experienced frontman, Batshuayi, put them ahead - the Belgian collected Kyle Scott’s pass before firing past Sietsma with a low right-footed drive to give his side a 23rd-minute lead. 0-1.
Nelson’s men went straight back on the offensive, not to be deterred by Chelsea taking the lead.
A good passing move on 27 minutes led to a chance for Seager but his diving header from Muirhead’s cross went into the ground and bounced over Eduardo’s crossbar. Not long after, Muirhead delivered another teasing ball which Kenedy had to hastily clear away at the far post.
Nesbitt’s corner on 41 minutes caused more problems for the Chelsea defence. The Blues failed to clear the danger and eventually Ariyibi was able to get a shot away - his acrobatic effort was saved by Eduardo.
Chelsea broke quickly with Kenedy following the Ariyibi effort. The winger, who has 15 Premier League appearances to his name, broke into the Dons’ penalty area before teeing up an on-rushing Batshuayi, who doubled both his and his team’s tally with a placed finish. 0-2.
Before half-time, the visitors were able to extend their advantage further. Callum Hudson-Odoi grabbed the goal in first-half stoppage time with a low drive which somehow squirmed its way through the body of Sietsma - a moment the Dutch goalkeeper will want to forget. 0-3.
Chelsea’s two late goals left the Dons with it all to do in the second half and they started brightly after the re-start.
However, before they could really test Eduardo in the Blues, they conceded a fourth goal. Charly Musonda was the goalscorer, finding the far corner with a composed finish after a one-two with Batshuayi. 0-4.
Wootton headed wide on 61 minutes as the Dons looked to, at the very least, reduce the deficit. Nesbitt later had a shot blocked after collecting a quickly-taken free-kick from Williams.
Neilson introduced some experience during the second half with both Ed Upson and Peter Pawlett entering from the bench.
With a quarter of an hour to go, Upson tried his luck with a volley which fell wide of the left post. Thomas-Asante then produced a save out of Eduardo at his near post, after latching onto Williams’ pass.
Eduardo was also on call to keep out Nombe’s header - the young forward did well to out-jump his man and meet the cross from Williams but couldn’t find a way past the Portugal international.
The Dons were forced to play the final five minutes with 10 men after winger Nesbitt was forced off with an injury and Neilson having already made all three of his substitutions - that prevented any chance of the men from MK1 affecting the scorline.
Starting XI: Sietsma; Williams (C), Wootton, Walsh, Golbourne; McGrandles (Upson 64); Ariyibi (Pawlett 64), Thomas-Asante, Nesbitt, Muirhead; Seager (Nombe 53)
Unused subs: Nicholls, Agard, Kasumu
Booked: McGrandles, Nombe, Williams, Upson
Attendance: 1,549 (158 away)