Chelsea just about hang on for three points after they let slip 3-0 lead against Luton to just win 3-2

By Paul Lagan at Kenilworth Road

11,041 (1,151 away)

Luton Town 2 v Chelsea 3

Chelsea almost unembarrassed themselves to let slip a three goal lead but somehow managed to cling onto the three points by their fingernails as they just about overcame a luckless Luton Town 3-2 at Kenilworth Road.

The west Londoners should have been home and hosed after going into a three goal advantage, with first half strikes from Cole Palmer and Noni Madueke.

When live wire Palmer stroked home a lovely third on 70 minutes, it looked like an easy away day in Bedfordshire.

The way the Blues then switched off from doing the basics which gave them that substantial lead will be a worry for head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Luton huffed and puffed all game, their energy levels did not falter throughout and when Chelsea’s levels dipped alarmingly for the final third of the match, it gave them the impetus to claw their way back.

Tthe first effort on target for the Blues fell to Cole Palmer -a typical cut in from the right with his left foot and a rive towards goal. Thomas Kaminski was equal to the task at his near post, snaffling the ball.

But a minute later on 21minutes, the visitors struck when the ball was given away by Issa Kabore and it fell straight to Palmer who drove home a venomous left-footer across Kaminski and into the far side-netting.

Ross Barkley’s free kick inched over Djordje Petrovic’s crossbar on 18 minutes as the home side sought to take full advantage of any set piece.

As the half wore on Luton sensed that their failure to convert the good but limited set-pieces might backfire on them.

And on 38 minutes a quick break by the west Londoners saw the ball played expertly from the back on the left, across the pitch as the move progressed and Noni picking it up in the final third.

A little wiggle or two created a slither of space and he thumped the ball home from a tight angle to double the lead.

The Blues were struggling to get a foothold in the game as Luton pished forward for a goal.

They resorted to needless time-wasting antics and when fouled, made the ,sot of it.

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino decided to make change on 63 minutes – on came Christopher Nkunku, off went Armando Broja.

Luton missed a glorious chance on 67 minutes when excellent work on the left by Barkley and sub Tahith Chong, fed the ball across the six-yard box, but in-running Elijah Adebayo was a tad to late to tuck the ball home.

That was a massive miss that got punished on 71 minutes when Nicolas Jackson bisected the Lutton defence. Palmer brilliantly controlled the ball while continuing forward with pace. A couple of sublime tweaks on the ball and he then slotted hoe with his right foot to make the game safe for the west Londoners.

While it might have been too little too late Adebayo did finally get his head to an Alfie Doughty left- wing cross to nod home.

But suddenly VAR intervened and wiped off the goal for Doughty being offside.

Adebayo just knew it wasn’t his day when his glancing header rebounded off the crossbar.

But with 10 minutes left ex-Chelsea midfielder Barkley powerfully headed home to reduce the deficit.

Enzo was then brought on with Noni making way.

Incredibility Luton rattled the Chelsea crossbar again when sub Carlton Morris was free on the right and his diving effort smacked off the woodwork.

But the with four minutes left, Adebayo was on the spot to tap home after Petrovic could only parry away a powerful Doughty goal-bound header.

Pochettino brought on young centre-back A;fie Gilchrist to try and shore up the porous defence as Luton piled on the pressure with six minutes added to the regulation 90.

Teams: Chelsea:Petrovic, Disasi, Silva, Madueke, Jackson, Broja, Palmer, Gallagher, Caicedo, Colwill, Gusto

Subs: Bettinelli, Bergstrom, Sterling, Enzo, Mudryk, Nkunku, Maatsen, Gilchrist, Matos

Luton Town: Kaminski, Osho, Barkley, Adebayo, Kabore, Mengi, Brown, Lokonga, Bell,on the clock, ex-Chelsea midfielder Barkley [ Townsend, Doughty

Subs: Krul, Andersen, Ogbene, Morris, Woodrow, Chong, Mpanzu, Clark, Giles

Referee: Pau; Tierney



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