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Caballero’s penalty save leads Chelsea past Norwich into FA Cup fourth round
- Updated: January 18, 2018
Chelsea made it into the FA Cup fourth round via a penalty shootout following a highly controversial 1-1 draw with Norwich on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.
The first half was a non-event with a paucity of chances at either end. Chelsea dominated the ball, but the closest they came to scoring was when Danny Drinkwater's shot from distance struck the crossbar.
The tie was finally graced with a goal early in the second half, when Michy Batshuayi converted Kenedy's cross from close range. Chelsea assumed control and had several chances to put the game to bed in the closing stages but saw their wastefulness punished when Jamal Lewis scored deep into stoppage time.
Extra time saw Alvaro Morata denied from close range before Willian was booked for simulation despite clearly being fouled in the penalty area. Pedro then saw red for a second bookable offence, and Chelsea's fortunes took another knock when Morata was harshly booked for diving and received a second yellow card.
Chelsea held on for penalties and won 5-3 after a save from Willy Caballero and a deciding spot kick from Eden Hazard.
Showing composure during the penalty shootout was pleasing, especially given the profligacy in normal time. At least it wasn't another 0-0.
The lack of invention without Hazard or Cesc Fabregas was concerning, as was the inability to kill the tie against spirited but limited Championship opposition. The buildup play was largely slow and predictable, rarely stretching Norwich's defence out of shape or generally making life uncomfortable for the visitors.
Manager rating out of 10
5 — The patterns of play were obvious, poorly executed and easily read. There seemed to be little in the way of tactical adjustments when things were clearly not working, which is a concern given Chelsea's recent slump in form.
Player ratings (1-10, with 10 the best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Willy Caballero, 8 — Made a bold but well-judged dash from his area in the first half to snuff out a Norwich breakaway. Showed great reflexes with a superb stop in the second half and made the crucial save in the shootout.
DF Ethan Ampadu, 7 — Was almost exposed when caught out of position during a first-half counterattack from the visitors. Otherwise kept things neat and tidy.
DF David Luiz, 7 — Had a reasonably good outing until the equaliser, which caught him in no man's land. Took his penalty well.
DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 7 — Captain for the evening, he was the most composed and assured of Chelsea's three centre-backs. Stepped in to clear any potential danger with class and confidence. Took his penalty in similar fashion.
MF Davide Zappacosta, 5 — A display full of errors and misjudgements. Effort was not in question, but there was a huge lack of quality on the ball with very little he tried coming off.
MF Danny Drinkwater, 6 — Almost broke the deadlock when he struck the crossbar and fizzed another shot narrowly over. His distribution however was erratic and one misplaced pass might have resulted in a goal but for Caballero's smart intervention.
MF Tiemoue Bakayoko, 7 — Tried to break the predictable patterns of play with some quick passes forward and little dinks over the top of the defence. A much improved outing for the much maligned midfielder.
MF Kennedy, 6 — The Brazilian's display contained the odd sublime moment of skill together with some questionable defending. Thankfully delivered a lovely cross for the opening goal.
FW Pedro Rodriguez, 4 — One scything run apart, this was a bad evening for the former Barcelona man. Was rightly booked for diving before getting his marching orders for an agricultural challenge in extra time.
FW Willian, 7 — Assumed the creative mantle in Hazard's absence without ever cutting the defence open. Never stopped trying and scored the opener in the shootout.
FW Michy Batshuayi, 6 — Failed miserably in the central striker role with none of his attempts to link with his fellow forwards coming off. Got on the score sheet but could hardly miss from such close range.
FW Alvaro Morata, NR — Flashed one header wide, nodded one straight at the goalkeeper and had another shot blocked. His evening was capped off with a red card.
DF Andreas Christensen, NR — Augmented the attacking play in extra time with some smart forays forward.
MF N'Golo Kante, NR — Fired his penalty crisply into the corner of the net.
FW Eden Hazard, NR — Tried everything to conjure a winner but had to make do with scoring the final penalty.