As Chelsea cruised past Sheffield Wednesday by 3-0 in the 4th round of the FA Cup, I look at the 5 key talking points from this FA Cup 4th round clash at the Bridge.
- Hudson-Odoi may have played his last game for the Blues- Yesterday, news came out that Hudson-Odoi had handed in a transfer request to force through a move to Bayern Munich before the end of the transfer window. With all of that in mind, no one really expected the 18 year old to be involved yesterday, however he started the game yesterday which came as a shock to some Chelsea fans. Hudson-Odoi had a quite first half. This is how @NizaarKinsella summed up the youngsters first half in the midst of his uncertain future with the Blues;
The English winger did grow into the second half, and got a goal in the 64th minute when he controlled a long ball over the top from Christensen, and produced a Johan Cruyff esque turn and finished superbly past Westwood in the Sheffield Wednesday goal. Take a look at his goal here;
At the end of the game, Hudson-Odoi gave his shirt to a young fan and applauded the Chelsea fans all over the ground. In a TV interview with BBC, when asked about Bayern Munich, here was his response;
We will see now what will happen with Hudson-Odoi. He didn’t rule out a Bayern move, but he also didn’t rule out staying at Chelsea.
It will be interesting to see how this transfer story will develop. Chelsea will do all they can to convince him to stay. But is it too little too late?
2. Willian was MOTM- Willian has had his critics in recent weeks for his poor performances, and some Chelsea fans have been crying for the Brazilian to leave the club. However, The Brazilian silenced his critics today with an outstanding performance. He scored the penalty in the first half to give the Blues the lead, and late in the game he scored a fantastic goal after lovely link up play with Giroud. Willian also was one of the only players who tried to provide any type of service to Higuain. Willian received MOTM from the BBC, and after this performance today, I won’t be surprised if the Brazilian starts on Wednesday against Bournemouth.
If you missed the Brazilians two goals today, click the links below;
3. VAR and the referee had decent performances yesterday- VAR had a big part to play in yesterday’s 4th round match. The main talking point in relation to VAR, came in the 22nd minute when Ampadu looked like fouling Pelupessy, and initially the referee gave a penalty, however VAR correctly overturned the decision and gave a drop ball to Chelsea.
The referee then came into the limelight two minutes later, when Azpilicueta was hacked down in the box by Hutchinson, and the referee made the correct decision to give the penalty, and VAR agreed with Andre Marriner on that occasion.
So the referee and VAR had a big influence in the game, and ultimately Sheffield Wednesday lost their cool after those two decisions went against them yesterday.
4. Chelsea lacked creativity in their midfield- Chelsea struggled to create any massive chances in the first half, apart from the Willian penalty goal, and this was partly due to the performances of Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic in that midfield. Barkley was worse out of the two, but neither of them really provided a creative spark for Chelsea today in the attacking sense.
Most of Chelsea’s creativity in the whole game came from the wide players, so the likes of Willian and Hudson-Odoi were the ones creating most of the chances for the Blues.
One massive issue which highlighted the poor performances of Barkley and Kovacic in the midfield, was that Higuain was constantly dropping into deep positions trying to create things for himself. Barkley and Kovacic have to step up their performances in upcoming weeks, otherwise the third midfielder spot will be given to Loftus-Cheek based on Merit.
5. Higuain and Ampadu’s performances- Let’s start off with Higuain. He made his full debut today, and he showed some signs of potential and promise despite receiving little service from the midfield especially. The main points of his game which were good was his link-up play and his movement in behind the Wednesday defence. Here’s what Zola made of Higuain’s debut;
Onto Ampadu now, and he had a mixed game in my opinion. He started off poorly with some sloppy passes, and nearly giving a penalty away, which was overturned to his relief. But as the game went on, the young welshman grew in confidence throughout the game.
The question now remains, will Sarri trust Ampadu to be Jorginho’s back-up in the regista roll?
Or will Sarri still be looking in the market for a Fabregas replacement, which would act as Jorginho’s backup?
The clock is ticking, so we’ll see whether or not there will be movement in the last days of the transfer market, which closes on Thursday.
Chelsea next play on Wednesday away to Bournemouth in the Premier League at 7:45pm. Keep an eye out for my preview which will come out on monday. Also Check out @terrysazio match report from yesterday.
Also comment down below with your thoughts on my five key talking points. Do you agree with what I have picked out?
By Danyal Khan