Buoyed by a rare sellout, the home side started with great impetus, effort, and determination, but it were Chelsea who struck first, with our very first attack of the game just 5 minutes in.
Michy Batshuayi, who was challenged before the game by Frank Lampard to show his quality, got lucky with a partially blocked shot that looped over the goalkeeper. Sometimes you need that bit of luck, especially as the goalkeeper would then go on to make at least three excellent saves to keep the game close, even as Chelsea absolutely dominated proceedings.
Of course, Chelsea’s wastefulness in front of goal has been well documented, and a second goal was always going to be crucial.
Hull started the second half just as well as they did the first, and for a solid 15 minutes, practically dominated the visitors. Chelsea did manage to avoid giving up too many dangerous situations however, with Hull’s leading goalscorer Bowen getting one half-chance only.
And then, just as in the first half, Chelsea scored with our first attack of the half, Tomori nodding in a free kick from Barkley.
It should’ve been comfortable from then on, but then a poor/unlucky bit of play got Hull on the scoresheet — Grosicki powering a shot through a poor Chelsea wall after Magennis won a free kick with a desperate dive from an Alonso whiffed clearance.
hard to know what was worse, the poor kick from Alonso, the dive from Magennis, the refereeing from Pawson, or the wall from Kovačić— Dávid Pásztor (@D_Peezy) January 25, 2020
But Chelsea hung on, despite a few bits of sloppy play, and got the job done.
Into the fifth round we go, the draw for which will be on Monday.
- 8 changes from Tuesday, with Caballero, Alonso, Tomori, Zouma, Barkley, Pedro, Mount, and Batshuayi getting a start. Azpilicueta, Kovačić, and Hudson-Odoi kept their places from the Arsenal draw.
- Like-for-like in Gilmour for Mount and Willian for Hudson-Odoi, plus a late change of Lamptey for Pedro.
- Chelsea unfortunately did not play in the special FA Cup kit (due to yellow socks clashing with Hull’s orange socks?).
- Batshuayi on the scoresheet as usual in domestic cup games. Direct involvement in 18 goals in 18 domestic cup starts (h/t @OptaJoe)
- Tomori’s second of the season, and only the second goal scored by Chelsea center backs this season!
- Next up: Leicester City away next weekend