Chelsea survived an FA Cup scare after coming back from a goal down to defeat League One side Plymouth Argyle in extra-time on Saturday afternoon.
Result: Chelsea 2-1 Plymouth Argyle
Date: 05 February 2022
Venue: Stamford Bridge
The Blues were without manager Thomas Tuchel, who tested positive for Covid-19 but named Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz in the attack.
It was the League One side that started brightly and bagged the lead on eight minutes when Macaulay Gillesphey jumped on a free-kick to head into the bottom-corner.
Chelsea were unfortunate not to draw level after a few seconds as Mateo Kovacic drilled a layoff from Lukaku onto the top of the crossbar.
The Blues battered the upright once again through the head of Hudson-Odoi from a ball into space by Hakim Ziyech who had gone on a darting run.
Chelsea finally broke Plymouth’s resistance within 41 minutes as Cesar Azpilicueta worked an angle in the area to guide home Mason Mount’s cross.
A substitution from the Blues at the start of the second period saw Marcos Alonso brought on in the place of Danish-born Andreas Christensen.
It appeared as if Chelsea had gone ahead following 58 minutes when Azpilicueta flicked a layoff from Lukaku past Michael Cooper, but he was called for offside.
The Blues were given another route to goal after ten minutes through a move involving Lukaku and Mount, but Kai Havertz directed the opportunity wide.
Chelsea carved out another chance in the closing stages when a layoff from Lukaku found Mount who forced Cooper to a thumping save, seeing the match to a period of extra-time.
The Blues made their advantage count in the 105th minute of extra-time as Alonso stormed into the area to tuck in Havertz’s ball.
Plymouth could’ve been level again in the last five minutes through a penalty following a foul by Malang Sarr on Ryan Hardie, but Kepa Arrizabalaga smothered Hardie to see out the clash.
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