Job well done!
Chelsea welcomed National League leaders Chesterfield at Stamford Bridge on Saturday for the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. The National League is the 5th tier of English football but Chesterfield have been doing well this season and are aiming for promotion. Tuchel picked a strong lineup as we looked to finish the game early on. Bettinelli started in goal for his debut with a back three of Christensen, Sarr, and 17 year old Lewis Hall who also made his debut. Pulisic, and Hudson-Odoi started as the wing backs while Kovacic, and Saul started in midfield with Werner, Ziyech and Lukaku up front.
Chelsea dominated the game from the first minute as one would expect and the first goal came in the 6th minute as Ziyech shifted in from the right and shot at goal, the shot was saved and fumbled into Werner’s path who finished into an empty net. Ziyech had another chance but his shot was saved. Hudson-Odoi made it two in the 18th minute as he finessed a right footed shot from outside the box into the bottom corner. A great goal and something he needs to do more often. Lukaku then made it three two minutes later as Lewis Hall drove forward and cut back a pass for the Belgian to tap in. Lukaku then had a briliant chance but his shot went wide. Christensen made it four in the 39th minute after a shot by Hall was deflected into the Dane’s path and he cushioned a header into the net. Cruise control going into the 2nd half and a chance to rest players.
Lukaku and Kovacic came off at half time with Loftus-Cheek and Havertz coming on. Chelsea got a penalty in the 55th minute after Pulisic was brought down and Ziyech stepped up to convert the penalty. Vale and Baker came on for Pulisic, and Christensen, as Christensen passed the armband to Loftus-Cheek. Barkley was the final sub for Hudson-Odoi. Chelsea didn’t create much in the final 3rd of the game with Sarr being the only defender on the pitch. Asante finally got a goal for Chesterfield in the 80th minute and it was great to see their 6000 away fans celebrate it with joy. A brilliant moment that those fans will always remember. Full time came and Chelsea progress to the next round.
Chelsea Team Review
Bettinelli made his debut for the club and had little to do for much of the game. Pulled off some decent saves and the goal wasn’t his fault after the shot by Tshimonga was saved but deflected into Asante’s path. Not sure how many games Bettinelli will get but if it’s a favourable draw he might feature in the next round.
Christensen, and Sarr were the only two proper defenders on the pitch in this game. Both did really well and Sarr looked comfortable in the centre of the three. Christensen had a good game and also captained the team after Kovacic came off. The goal was conceded when Sarr was the only defender left on the pitch.
Lewis Hall played out of position as a left centre back and did brilliantly given the opposition. Calm in possession, some great moments of dribbiling and driving forward. Two assists as well it was a perfect debut for the youngster. Could Hall feature as a wing back? Maybe but we shouldn’t get carried away. Kovacic, and Saul had good games as well as Saul played the whole 90. Loftus-Cheek came on in the 2nd half and captained the team when Christensen came off. It was great to see and he did really well, driving forward and playing some brilliant passes. Baker also made an appearance as a right centre back and looked decent. Barkley also got 25 minutes and was the only player that actually had a bad game. Very poor from him and he should be allowed to leave or sold.
Werner, Ziyech, and Lukaku all got goals but all three could have scored way more. Ziyech and Lukaku especially could have scored two or three each. Hudson-Odoi got a good goal and was dangerous from the left while Pulisic got an assist and played on the right. Havertz and Vale also came on in the 2nd half did well but Vale did play as a wing back.
Tuchel will be happy with the result having rested key players and coming through the game unscathed. Progression into the next round and with tough games ahead this is all he could ask for.
A brilliant debut from Lewis Hall and a professional performance from the rest. Chesterfield did well and hopefully they get promoted to League Two this season. Next up for Chelsea is a visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the 2nd leg of the Carabao Cup. COME ON CHELSEA!!!