Chelsea started with plenty of energy and intent in the cold and sleet — a bit of snow on the ground, even! — and quickly jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first quarter of an hour, thanks to two excellent finishes from Tammy Abraham.
The first goal had Luton complaining as there were technically two balls on the pitch when Chelsea took a throw-in smartly and quickly, but the referee was happy enough to allow play to go on (the second ball was well behind the play) and Abraham finished neatly from a Werner cutback.
There were no doubts or complaints about the second one, as Abraham headed over a slightly stranded goalkeeper from a nice chipped ball in from Reece James.
Chelsea were looking comfortable at this point, but Kepa decided to make things interesting as he let a shot squirm past his hand. Chelsea’s defending wasn’t great either of course, with both Emerson and Zouma giving their man too much space.
Chelsea went to work quickly in the second half, and laid siege to the Luton penalty area. Their goalkeeper made one tremendous save on a Pulisic chance, but Chelsea were unable to find a quick third. Instead it was Luton who started threatening, and Kepa needed to pull off a magnificent save to keep Chelsea in the lead.
Luton’s threat didn’t last long, and Chelsea eventually settled the game by bringing on Hudson-Odoi, who created a couple great chances before Abraham finished one off to complete his hat-trick.
We then even had time to miss a penalty, won by Werner but not converted. But the outcome was never in doubt: 3-1, Chelsea. Job done.
- Plenty of changes from midweek, but only a handful of changes from the last FA Cup match, with Christensen getting a runout instead of Rudiger, James in instead of Azpilicueta, and Havertz and Hudson-Odoi dropping for Pulisic and Abraham.
- Chelsea rolling with a 4-2-3-1 and a double-pivot of Gilmour & Mount
- Like-for-like changes in CHO for Pulisic, Havertz for Ziyech, Giroud for Abraham, Kovacic for Mount. Only 4 of the 5 subs allowed used.
- Mount captaining the Chelsea first-team for the first time. Kovacic doing the same after replacing Mount for the final 5-10 minutes.
- Kepa giveth, Kepa taketh away
- Abraham first player to reach double-figures in goals this season, with 11 now
- Second senior Chelsea hat-trick for Abraham, after the one against Wolves last season
- Third hat-trick of the season for Chelsea (Havertz v Barnsley, Giroud v Sevilla)
- Barnsley incidentally will be next up for us in the FA Cup. They beat Norwich City in their fourth round match.
- Next up: Wolves at home on Wednesday, then Burnley at home on Sunday