The two much-changed sides took to the pitch with great intentions and impetus, and the first 10-15 minutes were certainly played at a real break-neck pace, though without any real quality in the final third.
Chelsea had half-chances from Saúl (on a corner) and saw a Havertz long shot miss by just inches. Then the pace dropped, as did whatever quality was there initially, and the game devolved into a mess of fouls, turnovers, and imprecise passing. Some 20 fouls were called in the first 45, though only one yellow card was handed out by referee Kevin Friend.
Just when it looked like we’d head into the break scoreless, Kai Havertz nodded in a Hakim Ziyech corner thanks in part to some terrible defending from the visitors.
Chelsea’s lead didn’t last long however, as Southampton equalized barely a minute after the restart, with Che Adams taking advantage of a couple mistakes, including Kepa Arrizabalaga unable to make the initial save on Kyle Walker-Peters’ low drive.
The equalizer propelled the game into a classic “proper cup tie” with chances coming thick and fast at either end. Havertz, Barkley, and Saúl all had good chances while Kepa redeemed himself with a good save on a long shot. Both head coaches made changes, but the flow of the game didn’t change much. Saúl had another couple good looks, and Kepa made another good save after a lucky bounce found Will Smallbone for a close-range header.
With neither team able to beat the goalkeeper again in regulation, the private duel between Kepa and Fraser Forster the went into the penalty shootout. Both made one save, but Chelsea prevailed 4-3!
- Lineup initially reported as a 3-5-2, but certainly more of a 3-4-3 with Barkley and Ziyech as the two No.10s and Hudson-Odoi at right wing-back. Tuchel’s hand forced a bit in that regard with Loftus-Cheek, Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Kanté all missing out due to various injury and fitness concerns (plus Lukaku, Werner, Pulisic all out).
- Chilwell 20-25min at right wing-back, with Hudson-Odoi moving up front. Mount for Ziyech the only other change used, even though we were allowed five.
- The teams combined for 36 shots (22:14), 21 on target (14:7), with 31 fouls (14:17)
- Southampton penalties: A.Armstong, Walcott (saved), Long, Smallbone (miss), Romeu
- Chelsea penalties: Alonso, Mount (saved), Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, James
- James scored the winning PK in the previous round, too!
- Chelsea 3-for-3 in PK shootouts this season already.
- The draw for the next round is on Saturday for some reason
- Next up: Newcastle away, also on Saturday