no mistake The Brazilian scored either side of Callum Hudson-Odoi’s strike as Chelsea comfortably avoided an upset at Stamford Bridge Willian scored twice as Chelsea swept Sheffield Wednesday aside with a 3-0 victory in the FA Cup fourth round. The winger put the Blues in front on 24 minutes after VAR stole the show at Stamford…
The Brazilian scored either side of Callum Hudson-Odoi’s strike as Chelsea comfortably avoided an upset at Stamford Bridge
Willian scored twice as Chelsea swept Sheffield Wednesday aside with a 3-0 victory in the FA Cup fourth round.
The winger put the Blues in front on 24 minutes after VAR stole the show at Stamford Bridge, and then rounded off the scoring after Callum Hudson-Odoi’s neat strike.
The visiting Championship side thought they had a glorious opportunity to take the lead following Ethan Ampadu’s challenge on Joel Pelupessy, but VAR overruled Andre Marriner’s decision to award a penalty.
Then a minute later, Sam Hutchinson was penalised for a stamp on Cesar Azpilicueta inside the box and Willian made no mistake from the spot.
Hudson-Odoi, the 18-year-old forward who has reportedly handed in a transfer request amid interest from Bayern Munich, doubled the lead in the second-half.
He was picked out superbly by Andreas Christensen before taking two wonderful touches and firing left-footed beyond the Owls keeper – who perhaps should’ve done better.
With the game already won, Willian combined fabulously with Olivier Giroud before curling an inch-perfect finish into the far-right corner.
Gonzalo Higuain made his first appearance and Hudson-Odoi potentially his last as Chelsea made eight changes following last Thursday’s win over Tottenham which saw them advance to the Carabao Cup final.
Wednesday’s defence offered up a greater resistance than the England batting line-up their incoming boss Steve Bruce has witnessed in the Caribbean.
Bruce insisted on fulfilling his promise to go on a family holiday following the death of both his parents last year and watched England’s 381-run first Test loss in Barbados ahead of taking up his role at Hillsborough from Friday.
Cricket’s Decision Review System has largely been a success, but VAR has had its moments. On this occasion it was right, frustrating nearly 6,000 visiting fans.
When Joey Pelupessy surged through to try to meet Steven Fletcher’s pass, Ethan Ampadu slid in and won the ball before being kicked by the Wednesday midfielder. Marriner’s award of a penalty was swiftly overturned by VAR.
Play restarted with a dropped ball, as per the rules, which Wednesday did not contest. Soon they had conceded a spot-kick.
Blues academy graduate Sam Hutchinson trod on Cesar Azpilicueta. Marriner’s decision was reviewed, but there was no doubt.
Willian appeared to offer the spot-kick to Higuain, who declined, before the Brazilian sent goalkeeper Keiren Westwood the wrong way for his 50th Chelsea goal.
The hosts celebrated in front of the Shed End, packed with visiting fans, some of whom took exception, with missiles thrown.
Higuain until that pointed had lurked menacingly. He had one half-chance after a pass from Mateo Kovacic. He turned and shot, but the ball deflected wide.
The 31-year-old striker, who had the best goalscoring season of his career under Sarri at Napoli, netting 36 times in 35 Serie A games, dropped deeper and deeper as the first half progressed in search of the ball, while Hudson-Odoi was a peripheral figure.
Chelsea, as usual under Sarri, dominated possession, but little was created with the ball in the final third, while Wednesday’s best chance was a mishit cross by Adam Reach which hit the outside of a post.
The Blues’ lack of killer instinct has become a familiar frustration for the Italian, one he believes Higuain can solve. He had half chances when a Willian cross was deflected away from him and heading an Ampadu cross just wide.
Chelsea scored their second when Andreas Christensen’s long pass found Hudson-Odoi on the right. He checked inside, wrong-footing Morgan Fox, and struck a shot which deceived Westwood. His second Chelsea goal could be his last.
Chelsea had a third when Willian played a one-two with Olivier Giroud, on for Higuain, and passed the ball in.
A Giroud overhead kick went wide and Willian shot off target late on, missing out on a hat-trick.
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