Match Report – Chelsea 1-1 Norwich City (AET)

Chelsea sealed their spot in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday evening as they beat Norwich City on penalties 5-3, as the game ended 1-1 at Stamford Bridge.

Michy Batshuayi got the first goal of the game in the second half but Jamal Lewis netted a last-minute equaliser to send the game into extra-time. Pedro and Morata were shown second yellow cards but Chelsea came out on top in the penalty shootout to which they will face Newcastle United in the next round.

Chelsea made several changes from the weekend’s draw against Leicester, with Ethan Ampadu, Willy Caballero, Michy Batshuayi and several others being called into the starting eleven.

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David Luiz came in for the injured Gary Cahill. (Press Association)

The cup tie was delayed due to public transport issues resulting in fans arriving late into the ground.

The home side enjoyed the majority of spells early on and Willian received an aerial ball, he latched onto it but his effort failed to find the target.

It was Davide Zappacosta with the next real chance; a volley which was blocked behind got a corner. The full-backs were Chelsea’s bright spark early on.

The best chance of the game yet, Danny Drinkwater’s strike from the edge of the box was tipped onto the crossbar by Angus Gunn. A goal was getting ever closer.

Norwich had a chance a few minutes later when a poor Michy Batshuayi pass fell to Nelson Oliveira. The Portuguese stuck his effort goal-wards but like Drinkwater was denied by the woodwork.

The visitors were creeping into the game but Chelsea found the game’s opener. Michy Batshuayi tapped home from a couple of yards out to score the Blues’ first home goal of 2018.

Michy Batshuayi giving Chelsea the lead ten minutes into the second half. (Peter Cziborra/Action Images)

Norwich nearly hit back immediately as a Josh Murphy bobble strike went pat Caballero but the post kept his shot out.

The first piece of controversy of the game then occurred when Pedro rounded Angus Gunn. The Spaniard clearly was seen simulating and was therefore given a yellow card for his actions.

Drinkwater was at it again with another effort on goal, but unlike his first shot, this one was hit high and wide of the goal.

Chelsea had four minutes to see out the game but Norwich stung the Blues with a last-minute equaliser to send the game into extra-time. Jamal Lewis headed his first Norwich goal past Caballero to seal a stoppage-time leveller.

Jamal Lewis heading in stoppage time to send the game level. (David Klein/Reuters)

In the first couple of minutes in extra-time, Chelsea should have had a penalty. Willian was brought down by Klose but was booked for simulation. It looked a clear foul, however, even the video-assistant referee (VAR) failed to think it was a penalty and the decision stood.

The Canaries then hit Chelsea on the break but youngster Cantwell failed to deliver in the moment when it mattered, and let the home side off the hook.

Eden Hazard was then introduced to try to find the decisive goal but couldn’t.

Pedro was then sent off for a second yellow as he mistimed a tackle. Then, Alvaro Morata thought he should have had a penalty when he went over, but the referee thought otherwise and booked the Spaniard for simulation, a third Chelsea player to be booked for that reason.

But the forward was then shown an instant second yellow for dissent and sent Chelsea down to nine men.

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Willy Caballero was the hero between the sticks, whilst Eden Hazard scored the winning penalty. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The game went to penalties and Willy Caballero came to the rescue. A saved spot kick for the Canaries and with the Blues netting all their penalties sent the Premier League champions into the next round.

It was an evening which they made much harder than they needed to, and now the Blues will be without Pedro and Alvaro Morata for the trip to Brighton at the week. Two positives, Chelsea scored, plus they are through however tonight was another game that could have been avoided, even more so extra-time. But Chelsea and Antonio Conte are through, and they will face Newcastle at home in the next round.


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