17 de Febrero de 2018

Stunning goal by Pedro in Cup fourth round win (4-0)

A Willian brace, plus well-taken goals by Pedro and Olivier Giroud – his first for the club - ensured the Blues progressed to the FA Cup quarter-finals in style, with all of the damage being done in the first half against Hull City.

It was a lightning-quick start from Antonio Conte’s side, who took the lead inside the opening two minutes courtesy of a brilliant Willian goal.

The Brazilian, impressive throughout, made it 3-0 with another super strike five minutes after Pedro had extended the lead, and just before the break our two newest recruits - Emerson Palmieri and Olivier Giroud - combined for the French striker to score.

With one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League game against Barcelona, Pedro, Cesc Fabregas and Giroud were withdrawn. Kyle Scott came off the bench to make his Chelsea debut in the second half and Alvaro Morata was given more much-needed game time, the Spaniard playing the final 21 minutes.

In terms of team selection, Emerson was handed his debut for the Blues while Willy Caballero, Ethan Ampadu and Danny Drinkwater also started.

Giroud was tasked with leading the line and having returned from injury against West Bromwich Albion on Monday, Morata was named among the subs. There was also a place on the bench for Trevoh Chalobah, younger brother of Nathaniel and a defender from our Academy, who was involved with the senior squad for the first time.

Ola Aina, Fikayo Tomori and Michael Hector, all on loan at Hull from Chelsea, were ineligible to feature against their parent club.

Conte will have wanted his side to assert their authority on the contest early on, but few inside the stadium would have expected us to race in front so quickly, with Willian opening the scoring inside the opening two minutes.

Hull midfielder Kevin Stewart surrendered possession deep inside the visitors’ half and as Giroud helped the ball on to Willian he drove at the retreating defenders. The French striker made an intelligent away to the right, but with the space opening up, the Brazilian curled a delightful strike into the far corner.

Willian was heavily involved in the opening stages and after teeing up Fabregas, whose low effort was saved by David Marshall, with an audacious piece of skill he then broke away down the left but slightly over-hit his delivery which was intended for Giroud.

Thirteen minutes into the game and our lead should have been extended when Giroud fired over after a lovely dinked ball over the top by Pedro, and moments later the Spaniard was thwarted by the slightest of touches from Michael Dawson, who took the ball away from his toes as he looked to latch on to an incisive Fabregas pass.

Drinkwater was using the ball well in midfield and after exchanging passes with Willian he rolled a teasing delivery across the face of goal with Giroud, on the stretch, unable to apply the finish. Willian, after a superb run, then teed up Pedro whose low drive was well saved by David Marshall.

A minute later, though, Pedro wasn’t to be denied as he made it 2-0 with a goal of the highest quality.

Giroud, under pressure, did well to lay it into the path of Fabregas and the midfielder picked out the run of his compatriot with a sublime first-time pass. Pedro still had work to do, but after controlling the ball with his first touch he rolled his strike into the bottom corner to double our lead.

Five minutes later there was clear daylight between the sides as Willian scored his second, crashing a wonderful strike into the back of the net via the foot of the post from 25 yards following good work by Giroud. The Blues were rampant and Hull had no answer!

Every time we ventured forward we looked dangerous and having had a hand in our first three goals, Giroud scored his first for the club three minutes before the break, sweeping home at the near post from an Emerson cross.

It was no more than his display had merited and our two newest recruits had linked up to make it 4-0, capping a brilliant first half for the Blues.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, the 17-year-old attacker, replaced Pedro at half-time but it was the visitors who threatened first, with Ampadu forced to hook the ball behind for a corner after Angus MacDonald met a free-kick at the far post and headed across the face of goal.

Hull were handed an opportunity to reduce the deficit moments later when Fabregas tripped Harry Wilson inside the penalty area, and having been the hero in our third-round shoot-out victory over Norwich, Caballero showed his quality once again when he dived to his right to claw away David Meyler’s spot-kick.

Scott became the second Chelsea debutant on the night when he came on just after the hour mark, the 20-year-old introduced at the expense of Fabregas to play alongside Drinkwater in midfield.

After Caballero had done well to thwart Nouha Dicko, we almost added a fifth at the other end, only for Marshall to save from Zappacosta at the end of a move which had involved Scott, Hudson-Odoi and Willian.

Morata was then introduced for the final 21 minutes, coming on for the impressive Giroud, who received a fantastic ovation on his departure.

We continued to press for more goals and Drinkwater was unfortunate not to add his name to the scoresheet when his fierce drive from distance was pushed away by Marshall.

Willian looked to have scored his hat-trick late on but the attacker’s curler from distance struck the foot of the post with Marshall well beaten.

All in all it was a comfortable night's work for Conte's side, and having now scored seven goals in our last two games, without reply, we head into Tuesday's game against the Spanish league leaders in fine shape.

- Match stats:

Chelsea (3-4-3): Caballero; Rudiger, Ampadu, Cahill (c); Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas (Scott 61), Emerson; Willian, Giroud (Morata 69), Pedro (Hudson-Odoi h/t).

Scorers Willian 2 and 32, Pedro 27, Giroud 42

Booked Scott 81

Hull City (4-5-1): Marshall; Meyler, Macdonald, Dawson (c), Clark; Wilson (Toral 55), Evandro, Stewart, Irvine (Batty 86), Diomande; Dicko (Campbell 71)

Booked Stewart 32, Irvine 85

Referee Andre Marriner
Crowd 39,591

- Match report by chelseafc.com


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