Chelsea got their FA Cup defence off to a perfect start as they swept aside Championship side Nottingham Forest 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues were frustrated throughout the first-half as Cesc Fabregas missed a penalty but it only took until four minutes after the restart for them to take the lead as Alvaro Morata converted from Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross. That combination proved to be profitable again as the Spaniard nodded home another cross from the youngster to double the advantage and ensure the hosts’ progression to the FA Cup fourth round.
Chelsea spurn early opportunities
Chelsea started brightly and had early calls for a penalty as Andreas Christensen was hauled down by Claudio Yacob in the area. However, the referee was unmoved and waved away any appeals.
Morata then had a great chance to open the scoring as he found space in the penalty area but his header was well stopped by Luke Steele in the Forest goal. Emerson Palmieri then put a free kick marginally over as the hosts began to get on top.
Penalty woes for Fabregas
Maurizio Sarri’s troops were then given the opportunity to open the scoring as Ruben Loftus-Cheek was fouled by Ben Fox in the penalty area. Fabregas, who was reportedly making his final appearance for the Blues, stepped up but saw his effort saved by Luke Steele.
The Forest stopper was also at his best to preserve the stalemate as the Blues broke away at pace and Zappacosta sent a powerful effort towards goal. Consequently, the first-half ended all square.
Morata opens the scoring
It only took a few minutes following the restart for the hosts to take the lead. Hudson-Odoi did well to cross towards Morata, and then Spaniard powered the ball into the net with a great, first time finish.
Following that, there were chances for both sides as Adlene Guedioura forced a solid save from Willy Caballero. Hudson-Odoi, whose influence grew throughout the game, also drew the best from Steele in the Forest goal.
Chelsea wrap up progression
Despite scoring, Morata’s blushes were spared as to his relief, the offside flag was raised after he missed a sitter from only a few yards out. His sights were accurate a few seconds later though as he notched his second goal of the afternoon. Hudson-Odoi tossed in a teasing cross towards the Spaniard and he leapt highest to nod the ball into the bottom corner.
Following that goal, it was a relative cruise for the Blues. Ross Barkley forced a solid stop from Steele once again as the hosts attempted to put gloss onto the scoreline. Hudson-Odoi also went close to a third goal. However, the two-goal advantage was eventually enough to ensure Chelsea’s safe progression to round four.
The performance throughout the afternoon was a professional one from Chelsea. They were not at their best at all and they huffed and puffed throughout the opening stages. However, they converted their chances when they came. Callum Hudson-Odoi was particularly brilliant as the Blues secured a deserved win.
Chelsea: Caballero (6); Emerson (6), Luiz (7), Christensen (6), Zappacosta (7); Fabregas (7) (Kante (N/A), 85′), Ampadu (6), Loftus-Cheek (6) (Hazard (7), 42′); Barkley (6), Morata (7) (Azpilicueta (6), 75′), Hudson-Odoi (8).
Nottingham Forest: Steele (7); Janko (6), Fox (6), Yacob (5), Darikwa (6); Guedioura (6), Colback (5), Cash (6) (Lolley (6), 57′); Carvalho (6), Osborn (5), Murphy (5).
Goals: Morata (49′, 59′)
Referee: Andy Madley
Yellow Cards: Barkley (42′), Colback (67′)
Red Cards: N/A
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!