Steps in the right direction!
Chelsea welcomed Championship side Luton Town to Stamford Bridge on a snowy sunday afternoon for the FA Cup 4th round tie. Chelsea needed a response after the Liecester game and Lampard fielded a strong lineup. Kepa started in goal with Reece James, Christensen, Zouma, and Emerson making up the back four. Gilmour and Mount started in the midfield two with Pulisic, Werner, and Ziyech playing behind Tammy Abraham. A lineup that everyone was happy with and a slight tactical change from Frank as well. Mason Mount also became the youngest player to captain Chelsea since one John Terry.
Chelsea started the game well with Luton’s high line allowing Chelsea space in their half as we pressed with intent and actually created chances with the ball. The first goal came in the 11th minute as a quick throw in was taken from Ziyech who found Werner, Werner then drove with the ball and his pass was deflected into the path of Abraham who finished past Sluga to make it 1-0. Chelsea switched gears and we got the 2nd soon after as Reece James found Abraham with a flicked pass to head the ball into the net and make it 2-0 in the 17th minute. Chelsea then relaxed a bit and a mess up in the middle of the park allowed Luton to counter and get a goal in the 30th minute. The good thing was that conceding the goal actually seemed to motivate the men in blue and we should have easily gotten our 3rd or 4th in the final 15 minutes of the 1st half.
Luton came out fighting for the 2nd half and almost equalised early on but Kepa made a brilliant save to keep it 2-1. Chelsea had a slew of chances with Pulisic missing a couple and several balls across the box but no one being able get at the end of them. The 3rd goal finally came in the 74th minute as we stringed a passage of play from our own box and ended up finishing via Tammy. Abraham completed his hattrick and was subbed off for Giroud, while Havertz came on for Ziyech. Hudson-Odoi had earlier come on for Pulisic. We created several more chances to in the 2nd half and Werner who had a brilliant game got a penalty late on. Although when things aren’t going your way they really don’t and his penalty was saved by Sluga. The game ended 3-1 and Chelsea reached the next round.
Chelsea Team Review
Kepa did well for most of the game, the goal was partly his fault but also Zouma’s who moved out of the way blindsiding Kepa. A great save in the 2nd half and a calm and collected performance otherwise. Good for him.
A defensively solid performance apart from the goal conceded. Reece James and Emerson worked the flanks well delivering good crosses while also staying strong defensively. Christensen, and Zouma were solid in the centre and barely let Luton have any time on the ball.
Captain Mason Mount led by example as he was all over that midfield making tackles, playing passes and pressing constantly. Gilmour was great as well and always looked to play the forward pass when he had the ball. Billy really should be starting if Kante is not fit. Kovacic came on late for Mason Mount and he did well to just see out the game. Kova did make some trademark runs through the middle though which could have led to goals as well.
A hattrick for Tammy Abraham as he becomes the first striker this season to reach the double figure mark. Tammy could have easily had a couple more though and Chelsea need to work on that clinical aspect of the game. Pulisic himself could have had a couple of goals but he similar to some other players looks a bit out of form. Ziyech was good in the game and probably deserved a goal or assist for the chances he created. Werner played extremely well for the 90 minutes and was incredibly unlucky to not get a goal or assist. He worked hard made runs, and continued to do that after the missed penalty as well. The goals will come for Timo and when they start they won’t stop, I am a 100% sure of that. Hudson-Odoi had a positive impact on the game as he got an assist for the 3rd goal while Giroud didn’t have much to do but did get a few shots off. Havertz also came on and looked lively as he continues to get back to pace with the game.
Lampard got what he wanted from the players, to see the passion and drive which led to a positive result. We could have had several more goals and Lampard will want to improve on that but its a step in the right direction. Like Frank said do the basics right and the results will come.
A good day overall and another game in which the academy excelled. Chelsea will face Barnsley away in the next round the 2nd time we play them this season but for now its a visit by Wolves on Wednesday. COME ON CHELSEA!!!