The holders stroll into the FA Cup fifth round with a comfortable victory
Callum Hudson-Odoi scored in what could be his last game for Chelsea as they beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 in the FA Cup fourth round.
The game got off to a mundane start before Wednesday had a penalty award overturned by VAR in the 23rd minute at Stamford Bridge after Ethan Ampadu was rightly judged in the end to have won the ball ahead of Joey Pelupessy before Chelsea scored from a penalty of their own just three minutes later, with Willian comfortably converting to score his 50th goal for the club.
Chelsea doubled their lead in the 64th minute when Hudson-Odoi – who handed in a transfer request less than 24 hours earlier – produced a fine piece of skill and finished inside the box after receiving an exquisite pass from Andreas Christensen.
Willian then doubled his tally for the game and added a third late on (83) with a fine curling finish into the far corner to seal the game and give the Blues safe passage into the next round.
Gonzalo Higuain – who finally moved to the club on Tuesday after completing a much-complicated loan move from Juventus via AC Milan – made his debut and showed glimpses as to why Maurizio Sarri wanted him again after their fantastic spell together at Napoli.
The Argentina international was given a great ovation after coming off on 80 minutes. He was also offered the chance to take Chelsea’s penalty in the first half but respectfully allowed Willian to convert the set-piece.
Once again, VAR played a major role in a Chelsea for the third time in just under a month. Fortunately, the controversial technology was on our side with both penalty decisions going in our favour.
Chelsea now await to see who their opponents will be in the fifth round, with the draw taking place at 7pm UK time, tomorrow evening.
Possession (%) – Chelsea 80%, Sheff Wed 20%
Shots – Chelsea 12, Sheff Wed 3
Shots on Target – Chelsea 3, Sheff Wed 1
Corners – Chelsea 5, Sheff Wed 1
Fouls – Chelsea 3, Sheff Wed 12
Offsides – Chelsea 0, Sheff Wed 1
Yellow/Red Cards – Chelsea 0/0, Sheff Wed 1/0
(Bonus Stat) 50 – Willian has now scored 50 goals in all competitions for Chelsea, including nine in 22 FA Cup appearances.
- Lethargic first half, much improved second half
- Hudson-Odoi showing once again why he’s highly rated
- Good debut for Higuain – very confident that the goals will come
- Kovacic looked assured at Regista, another midfielder needed before the transfer deadline?
- Ampadu looked decent in the first half at ‘Regista’ but much more comfortable at RCM in the second half
- Christensen stepped up today with his passing and all-round compsure. Signs of his confidence coming back?
Chelsea Player/Manager Ratings
Caballero – 6, Quiet game, had nothing to do.
Azpilicueta – 7, Typical performance from the captain, had a much easier night than against Tottenham in midweek.
Rudiger – 7, Strong, assured display once again from our first-choice centre back. Has become integral to this team.
Christensen – 7, A very good performance from the young CB, showing why the club and fans rate him and want him to become an integral part of our future. A fantastic pass which became the assist for Hudson-Odoi’s goal – maybe his confidence is starting to come back.
Alonso – 6, Had a rare good game. Nothing bad from a defensive perspective.
Kovacic – 8, Great match for the Croatian after giving an assured display in the ‘Regista’ role.
Ampadu – 7, Solid game for the youngster. Looked much more comfortable at RCM than in the ‘Regista’ position.
Barkley – 5, Like every other game in recent memory – nothing good to offer. Would be surprised if he starts against Bournemouth.
Hudson-Odoi – 8, Another great performance from the highly sought-after youngster, once again showing his talent with a sublime piece of skill which lead to his goal.
Higuain – 7, A good debut for Gonzalo. Very confident that the goals will come. Offered more to the team/game in general and gave me more confidence than a certain other ST who is on his way to Madrid.
Willian – 8, MOTM Performance. The Jekyll and Hyde of our club. On his day he can be unplayable – just like today. The problem and frustration with him are that those days are few and far between.
Loftus-Cheek (65′ for Ampadu) – 6, Good to see him back after his untimely injury. Minutes on the pitch will help his fitness.
Giroud (78′ for Higuain) – 6, Worked hard for the 10 or so minutes on the pitch and nearly scored a great goal.
Jorginho (84′ for Barkley) – 6, Decent 5 minutes for the Italian international.
Maurizio Sarri (7) – Good night for the head coach. Right decisions in terms of selections from both a starting and substitute perspective. Once again showed faith and confidence to play the youngsters and show what they’re capable of. Deserves more respect/leeway than he currently gets in my opinion.