With all the Premier League sides being eliminated in the FA Cup Fourth Round, Chelsea made sure their names weren’t added to the list on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.
Two goals from Willian and a goal from Callum Hudson-Odoi made sure Chelsea took advantage of their dominance over possession and to ensure victory.
Hudson-Odoi was a bit of a surprise start on Sunday. Reports emerged on Saturday night that Hudson-Odoi handed in a transfer request in order to force through a move to Bayern Munich. Chelsea have been adamant that they wouldn’t sell, and that would appear to be the case after his appearance against Sheffield Wednesday.
Gonzalo Higuain’s debut was not as much of a surprise. Higuain’s loan move wasn’t confirmed in time for him to make his debut against Tottenham last Thursday, so it was likely that he’d start on Sunday.
The big question was how Sheffield Wednesday would approach this match, and very quickly, we found out. Wednesday pretty quickly found themselves pinned deep in their own half, daring Chelsea to break down a tight defence.
But it was Wednesday who thought they’d have a chance to break the deadlock when Joey Pelupessy went to ground in the penalty area after a challenge from Ethan Ampadu. Referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot, but after a discussion with the VAR, Marriner’s decision was correctly overturned. Replays showed that Ampadu won the ball cleanly, much to the chagrin of Wednesday’s players.
Wednesday’s aggravation grew when Marriner awarded a penalty for Chelsea when Sam Hutchinson mistimed a challenge and brought down Cesar Azpilicueta. VAR was consulted again, and the decision was upheld this time as replays showed that Hutchinson missed the ball and stood on Azpilicueta’s foot.
Willian stepped up comfortably to send Keiren Westwood the wrong way and give Chelsea the lead.
Wednesday didn’t really have much of a chance to mount an attack against Chelsea, and it was Hudson-Odoi who doubled Chelsea’s lead.
Andreas Christensen played a long diagonal ball to find Hudson-Odoi free on the right. Hudson-Odoi took his defender into the box, then cut inside and fired a shot that Westwood could only palm into his own net.
Chelsea were in cruise control when Willian added gloss to the score line with Chelsea’s third. Willian played a little one-two with substitute Olivier Giroud and curled the return pass inside the far post to guarantee Chelsea the win.