FA Cup: Wolves 0 – 2 Chelsea

Blues Prevent Wolves Scare

An unmarked Pedro heads in the opening goal.

Chelsea found themselves fortunate to escape an early Wolves goal before scoring two goals past the hour mark to book their place in the FA Cup Quarterfinals. Former Chelsea player George Saville almost put his former club through the sword with a shot near the penalty spot but he only managed to his the post. It would take the Blues almost an hour before breaking through the resilient Championship side with a well-worked goal by Pedro. Diego Costa would put the result to rest with a well-taken goal after receiving the ball in the penalty area from a deflection by Matthew Doherty.
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EPL: Burnley 1 – 1 Chelsea

Chelsea Held At Turf Moor

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Pedro of Chelsea celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor on February 12, 2017 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Chelsea’s procession toward the title took a slight hit as they drop points against Burnley at Turf Moor. The Blues took an early lead with Pedro scoring an early goal through a blistering counterattack. Burnley would equalize through a Robbie Brady free kick in the middle of the first half after Nemanja Matic conceded a free kick.
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EPL: Chelsea 3 – 1 Arsenal

Chelsea Sink Arsenal Title Hopes

Chelsea asserted their dominance at the top of the table by beating London rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, XXXXXX. Marcos Alonso opened up the scoring with a running header to capitalize from a Diego Costa miss. Eden Hazard doubled the advantage for the hosts with a brilliant solo goal in the second half. Cesc Fabregas would provide further embellishment to the scoreline with a beautiful lob from beyond the penalty area. Olivier Giroud would score a consolation goal for the visiting side with a headed finish at injury time.
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FA Cup: Chelsea 4 – 0 Brentford

Blues Swamp Bees

Chelsea ran ragged at Stamford Bridge to emphatically route Championship side Brentford, 4-0. Willian started the scoring deluge for the Blues with a wonderful free kick aimed towards the upper right corner in the 13th minute. Pedro would double Chelsea’s advantage at the 2oth one of their devastating counterattacks. Branislav Ivanovic possibly put in a stamp on his Chelsea career as he padded on Chelsea’s advantage on the 69th minute with another lightning counterattack. Michy Batshuayi managed to get himself into the score sheet late in the 81st minute after converting a penalty.
Antonio Conte has opted to rotate his squad for this FA Cup tie. Asmir Begovic gets a chance to wear his gloves with the trio of Kurt Zouma, John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta posing as the shield in front of him. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathan Ake man the flanks with Cesc Fabregas and Nathaniel Chalobah patrol central midfield while Pedro, Willian and Michy Batshuayi gets the nod for the attacking three for a 3-4-3

Willian hasn’t been able to showcase his free kick delivery for much of this season but he manages to remind the crowd of that sliver of form that fueled his Player of the Year form last year. With the visitors conceding a free kick on the right central side, Willian took charge over the free kick which Cesc Fabregas was mulling over as well. The Brazilian took two steps and then executes a perfectly struck free kick which he bent around the wall and left Brentford keeper Daniel Bentley powerless to stop the strike as it arched back towards goal.

Chelsea was threatening throughout the early stages of the match and almost got their old captain a moment of glory himself. With the visitors conceding a corner, the Blues decided to play it short which eventually reached Fabregas down the right. The Spanish magician spots John Terry making a foray towards the penalty area and squares it to the former England international. Unfotunately, his side-footed shot lacked precision and he ends up missing the target.

Though the Blues have been the dominant team during the half, Brentford has been allowed some space to invade their midfield but this usually comes with a hefty amount of risk. during the 20th minute, this risk did not pay off as Chelsea remained possession of the ball while the Brentford defense was left stranded. Willian gets the pass in the middle of the pitch and immediately relseases Michy Batshuayi, The Belgian upstart then examined his options and looked to release Ruben Loftus-Cheek down the middle. But Loftus-Cheek merely served as a decoy and left the ball to roll towards Pedro, who was coming from a deeper position from the right. The former Barcelona man easily slots the ball past Bentley’s legs to pile on the hurt for the visitors.

Brenford stopped the hemorrhage of goals for the time being with some rather fortunate defending. Coming from corner, John Terry managed to elevate himself above Andreas Bjelland to head the ball back to the center of the penalty area. Batshuayi was waiting on a rather dangerous position unmarked to head the ball to goal but as he struck it, Kurt Zouma came flying in, blocking his headed attempt. The Belgian got a second crack at goal as the ball fortuitously bounced towards his path. But some excellent defending from Bentley who initially blocked the ball with his leg before further curbing its momentum with his forearm proved enough to prevent the ball from crossing the line.

Brentford’s best chance early in the second half when Lasse Vibe has the Chelsea goal at his mercy. Ryan Woods delivered a delicious cross from the right that Vibe was able to out-muscle Cesar Azpilicueta. Having gained position deep in the penalty area, the Danish forward hesitated for a second as he saw Asmir Begovic come out of his line to snuff out the danger. Vibe attempted to dribble past the Bosnian goalkeeper but Begovic got enough of the ball to dispossess him.

A superb move from Nico Yennaris got the Chelsea defense bamboozled for a bit and almost earned the visitors a lifeline back into the match. With Ryan Woods dictating play for the visitors without any man coverage, he easily spotted Yennaris deep into the penalty area. The former Arsenal man then deftly controls with his foot and proceeds to spin past the Blues defensive sandwich of John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta to leave Begovic exposed at goal. But the Bosnian keeper displayed decisiveness in lounging to a sliding challenge which effectively impeded the shot without taking out the man.

Branislav Ivanovic got one more stake at glory before his possibly ties up his Chelsea career. The Serbian did well to intercept a pass deep in their midfield to initiate a furious counter with Pedro. The Spanish international took the duties of dribbling the ball before releasing Ivanovic to the right who has his after burners equipped for this chance. He then shoots towards the near post which Bentley failed to anticipate.

The Serbian defender managed to further contribute to the cause by earning the Blues a penalty in the 81st minute. The luckless Michy Batshuayi stepped up on the spot to take the kick and proceeds to send the keeper the wrong way to finally earn a deserved goal.

Chelsea are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup after continuing the streak of defeating Brentford for the past 78 years, The opponents looked thoroughly outclassed and the margin of victory galvanized this notion. Chelsea will head to Anfield for an all important EPL fixture at midweek.

EPL: Chelsea 2 – 0 Hull City

Costa Returns to Subdue Tigers

Chelsea extended their lead on top of the Premier League table after they defeated Hull City, 2-0, at Stamford Bridge. Diego Costa opened up the scoring in the 6th minute of first half stoppage time with a close range effort. Gary Cahill would seal the points for the Blues with a towering header late into the match.

With Antonio Conte having deemed Diego Costa over his unsettled state over that massive offer from China, the striker is reinstated into the starting lineup. Thibaut Courtois remains the man in charge of goal with the trio of Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill and David Luiz providing a three-man central defensive protection in front of the keeper. Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante remain the stewards of central midfield with Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses manning the flanks. Willian makes way for the returning Diego Costa with Pedro and Eden Hazard completing the front three for a 4-3-3.

Though Diego Costa may have missed a week due to a “back problem”, it almost seems that he didn’t skip a beat. Within seconds after kickoff, a ball launched up field was headed down by Pedro towards Costa’s path. The Spanish striker immediately takes advantage of the wide open spaces and lines up a shot on goal. But the shot from distance lacked precision was it bobbled towards the left to the Tiger’s relief.

The Blues have had an imperious start to this match but they might need to be mindful because the Tigers have claws. Having gotten a good amount of possession in front of the Chelsea penalty area, the visitors try to get creative. Tom Huddlestone had the ball in the area and quickly executes a one-two with Abel Hernandez to give him a working angle to shoot. Sadly, the beautiful buildup could not be matched with an equally gorgeous finish as the ball goes wide.

Even though there was a 9-minute match stoppage due a collision of heads between Ryan Mason and Gary Cahill. Hull City’s intensity doesn’t feel like it’s dropped a notch. Harry Maguire sauntered up the field to retrieve the clearance, only to find himself sandwiched between Marcos Alonso and the recovered Gary Cahill. But he splits the defense and gets himself deep in the penalty area and executes a shot. However, it only manages to ripple the side netting due to a deflection. Maguire would get another chance at glory as he managed to climb beyond the Blue sea to head towards goal from the resulting corner but his attempt was straight at Thibaut Courtois.

Lady luck almost smiled on the hosts. From a corner taken short, Pedro dribbles towards the edge of the penalty area to find an opening. Instead, he finds Alonso outside the penalty area. He feels he has an angle and attempts a shot. However, Michael Dawson was there for to deflect the shot. It only resulted in the ball looping towards the air and headed towards goal with only the alertness of Eldin Jakupovic preventing Chelsea from scoring.

Pedro and Alonso combine once more for another attempt. Pedro looks to his compatriot to see if they can carve up an opportunity. Alonso surveys the area to find N’Golo Kante in a more advanced position. But before Kante can poke the ball in from close distance, Jakupovic makes an important interception to keep things level between the two clubs.

Chelsea seems most dangerous in the dying minutes of the first half and this trend continued during match. With the official adding a whopping 9 minutes of stoppage time, the Blues were attempting to overrun the Hull City defense. Costa from deep spreads the ball to the right to Victor Moses who makes a forward run on his flank before cutting a low cross into the penalty area. This ball manages to reach Costa and the Spaniard could do no wrong from a few yards out.

Hull City have been defending resolutely but have been showing some attacking teeth when given the chance. With Chelsea still finding their bearing at the start of the second half, the visitors looked to pull out a surprise from deep. Substitute David Meyler has looked to shoot from distance but Courtois was once again proves to be the final obstacle towards goal with a low save.

The Tigers are truly set on preventing this fixture from becoming a cake walk for the hosts. With Hull City threatening with a corner, Cahill managed to get an interception but fails to control the ball, resulting in Abel Hernandez to set up Michael Dawson with a header. Dawson gets some space to the left but could not give his half-volley failing to be on target.

Gary Cahill could have just hammered the final nail of the proverbial coffin. Substitute Cesc Fabregas was given the task to deliver the free kick from the left. He whips one into the 6 yard box where Cahill soared above the Hull City defense to nod home a header from close range and probably put away the Tigers who showed a lot of fight in them even after going behind.

With Chelsea’s other title contenders dropping points over the course of the weekend, the Blues extend their lead at the top of the table at 8 points against second place Arsenal. Chelsea will host Brentford in the 4th round of the FA Cup before invading Anfield in a colossal match against Liverpool.