Surprising and disappointing lineup and squad selection aside, a solid outing and win for the Blues, certainly needed after the recent run of bad results. Beating a fourth division side, handily or not, won’t change much of the narrative, but it certainly won’t hurt it, which is a plus for all concerned.
We had all been hoping for an “Academy Day”, but none of the five youngsters promoted this week to training were named to the starting lineup, and only one, Tino Anjorin, was named to the bench. The lineup was still youthful in many ways, featuring Billy Gilmour and Callum Hudson-Odoi among others, but we had been hoping for a debut or two, which didn’t arrive.
As far as the game itself, with Chelsea at times dominating possession at over 80 per cent of the ball, it was always going to be just a question of how soon and how many (barring a massive shock). Mount’s long-shot was the only goal for a while, but then Werner broke his fast late in the first and Hudson-Odoi settled the game for good early in the second, and then it was truly just a training exercise. Havertz added a fourth just for good measure at the end.
Morecambe came close once, when a mis-hit cross almost caught Kepa out.
- Just six changes for Lampard, with Zouma, Azpilicueta, Mount, Werner, and Ziyech all keeping their places from last weekend.
- Like-for-like changes in Giroud for Werner and Pulisic for Ziyech. Switch to more of a two-striker look with Abraham joining in place of Mount.
- Lampard taking advantage of the extra subs in this competition by giving Anjorin (for Hudson-Odoi) and Tomori (for Zouma) ten minutes at the end.
- Birthday boy Mason Mount ends 19-appearance goal drought with just his 2nd goal all season. It’s his 10th career goal for Chelsea.
- Non-birthday boy Timo Werner ends 13-appearance goal drought. His 9th of the season.
- Hudson-Odoi’s second goal in just as many games, his 5th of the season. Hudson-Odoi has now scored in the third round of the FA Cup for three seasons running.
- Havertz ends 15-appearance goal drought. Also his 5th of the season.
- Clean sheet for Kepa on his 100th appearance for the club!
- Chelsea haven’t lost in this round of the FA Cup since 1998.
- The draw for the 4th (and 5th!) rounds is on Monday.
- Next up: Fulham away in the league on Friday.