By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 5 v Chesterfield 1
FA Cup 3rd round
Five different goal scorers saw Chelsea cruise into the 4ft Round of the FA Cup, dispatching non-league Chesterfield 5-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Anyone expecting or even hoping for an upset on the Newcastle scale were disappointed as the west Londoners took their opponents seriously, and set about cutting them to sheds from the first whistle.
The biggest cheer of the game was reserved for the visitors whose goal nine minutes from time was reward for their endeavour and applause was heard from both sets of fans
There were four goals in the first half – Timo Werner tapping home on six minutes, and a single effort in the second.
There could and should have been many more, but substitutions affected rhythm and that tactic fell into the lap of the visitors, who, with nine minutes left, got what they really came for – a goal.
And like Werner’s it was a close-range tap-in from substitute Akwasi Asante.
It took the Blues six minutes to hush the thousands of travelling Chesterfield supporters as Werner tapped home from close range.
But it was the long-busting 50-yard run by Matteo Kovacic which set up the goal from a quick counter attack.
He slid the ball to Hakim Ziyech who drove the ball across the six-yard line where the German striker controlled the ball with his left and slotted home with his right.
Scott Loach did well in goal for the visitors on 12 minutes, parrying away a fierce drive by Ziyech as the Blues sought to kill the tie off as quickly as possible.
The two-goal cushion came on 19 minutes when Callum Hudson-Odoi found himself with no one to pass t0 on the edge of the Chesterfield penalty area, so he tried a little right-footed curler.
It was perfect as it zipped round Loch.
Number three came a minute later when left-back Lewis Hall took advantage of sloppy play by two Spirites on the left. He cut the byline ball back to in-running Romelu Lukaku who side-footed home from six-yards out to make it 3-0.
Andreas Christensen was on the right spot six minutes before the interval to nod home after Loach knocked Lewis Hall’s goal-bound shot directly towards the Denmark centre-back.
It looped, seemingly for ages, before nestling in the back of the net to make it 4-0 to Chelsea.
With the game effectively won, Chelsea head coach brought on Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kai Havertz. Neither Lukaku nor Kovacic reappeared from the tunnel.
Ziyech produced a classy mazy run on 49 minutes from which he let fly a swift left-footer. Loach got down well to the shot and cleared it effectively.
Substitute Calvin Miller fell on top of Christian Pulisic on 53 minutes – inside the penalty area. It was an easy spot kick decision by referee Jarred Gillett.
Up-stepped Ziyech who hit the kick low, and hard. Loach managed to get a glove to the zipper but it had too much power and pace not to smack the back of the net to make it 5-0.
Lewis Baker replaced Christensen and Harvey Vale took Pulisic’s place as Tuchel gave a rest to some of his players who will contest the second leg of the League Cup against Spurs on Wednesday.
Hudson-Odoi’s game ended on 66 minutes allowing Ross Barkley to get a few minutes in the pitch.
The ex-Everton midfielder’s first touch saw a clever curling right-footer from 20 yards out inch wide of Loach’s left post.
The consequences of the changes disrupted Chelsea’s otherwise imperious play and give the visitors some respite and encouragement.
And the 5,000 fans from Chesterfield were duly rewarded for their continuous vocal support when substitute Asante was free to tap home the ball into an empty net after Marcus Bettinelli could only knock a shot into his path on 81 minutes.
There were still chances to add to the score from the home side, but they didn’t and both sides can look back on a game where they achieved what they set out to do – Chelsea to win, Chesterfield to go home with a goal in the bag.
Teams: Chelsea: Bettinelli, Sarr, Hall, Christensen, Hudson-Odoi, Saul, Pulisic, Kovacic, Ziyech, Werner, Lukaku
Subs: Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Webster, Baker, Vale, Havertz, Barkley, Kepa, Simons
Chesterfield: Loch, Croll, Kerr, Gunning, Whittle, Weston, King, Oyeleke, Kellerman, Tshimanga, Khan
Subs: Manderville, Payne, Tyson, Minter, McCourt, Maguire, Asante, Grime, Miller
Referee: Jarred Gillett
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