90+3min: FULL TIME. Chelsea win!
90+2min: Another Barnsley free kick, this one central. In it comes, it bounces around, but Abraham gets pushed and the referee gives the foul. And that should be that.
90+1min: Long throw from Barnsley. Chelsea clear. Kepa gathers a deflected header in the follow-up cross from the home side.
89min: Zouma clears for a corner, which Abraham heads clear for another corner. Kepa gets fouled on that one to relieve the pressure.
86min: Dike tries to wriggle free of Zouma, but can’t generate much power in his shot. Kepa saves.
85min: Another Barnsley free kick, this one a bit deeper. In it comes, Barnsley win the header, but it’s an easy save and catch for Kepa.
82min: James fouls Woodrow wide left. But Barnsley waste the chance to test Kepa and eventually run it out for a goal kick.
80min: Pulisic off for Kovacic as we switch to a three-man midfield.
78min: Barnsley free kick wide left. Kepa flaps at the cross and Barnsley flick it towards goal. Abraham clears off the line for a corner! Another letoff. Abraham strong on the subsequent corner as well, contesting the header well for a goal kick.
75min: Anjorin again looking for Abraham, but he’s caught on his heels and the goalkeeper can collect the through ball.
72min: Abraham and Emerson combine to win the ball high up, but Hudson-Odoi’s resulting shot curls over the bar.
71min: Anjorin looks for Abraham with a through ball, but Barnsley make a good interception.
69min: Anjorin on for Ziyech, who was again rather subdued
66min: Barnsley free kick, punched clear by Kepa. Barnsley follow up effort well over the bar.
64min: GOALLLLLL!!! ABRAHAM!! And then, out of nothing much at all, Gilmour breaks the lines in midfield, playing wide to James, who plays square to Abraham to tap in. Abraham looks offside, but no flag and no VAR, so the goal stands! 1-0, CHELSEA!
61min: CHO earns a free kick wide left. Ziyech puts it in, finding Rudiger wide open at the near post. His header however misses the target by several inches.
59min: Barnsley double sub, including the USMNT’s Dike for his club debut.
58min: Long ball to CHO, who loses a couple as he drives the box. His cross-shot is wide of the far post and out of the reach of the arriving Abraham however.
57min: More good work from Rudiger to stop Woodrow after Barnsley win the ball in midfield with their high press. At the other end, a mistake from Barnsley gives Abraham an opportunity to run, but he tries to flick it to Pulisic who was not ready for that and the opportunity is wasted.
56min: Barnlsey work the ball around well on the right, and swing in a couple crosses. Rudiger clears twice, first with his foot, then with his head.
52min: CHO plays infield to Ziyech, but his touch is a tad long and the ball’s cleared for a corner. Ziyech takes, outswinging, but doesn’t get it past the first defender.
48min: Ziyech, now in the center, tries to chip through to Abraham. Barnsley intercept, but Chelsea pushing much higher already this half.
46min: Barnsley with an early long shot. Not close.
SECOND HALF: Alonso and Christensen make way for James and Rudiger at the half. Chelsea need plenty of improvement. Looks like we have a formation switch as well, going to a back-four, with Pulisic on the right wing and Hudson-Odoi on the left in a 4-2-3-1.
HALF-TIME: Not great from Chelsea at all, unable to deal with Barnsley’s press and lucky to have not conceded twice. At the other end, it was probably a foul on Tammy in the area, but that was pretty much the only dangerous moment from the Blues. 0-0.
45min: Another corner for Barnsley, Kepa deals with this one by catching it at the far post. And that’s that for the first half.
44min: Barnsley corner, which they work well, low to the near post and lay it off to a wide open player at the corner of the six-yard box. Surely he scores from there, but somehow puts it wide of the far post. It looks like his own man actually diverted the ball past the post. If he doesn’t touch it, it’s a goal! Another massive letoff.
41min: Chelsea finally able to break through the Barnsley press, with Pulisic pushing through midfield and playing through to Hudson-Odoi. The ball takes him a bit wide, and the cross is bit strong. Pulisic stretches at the far post, but can only put it wide with a sliding effort.
38min: Chelsea with some slick passing in the center, but Pulisic gets the ball nicked off of him and Barnsley can clear.
36min: Britton beats Alonso and gets the cross in. Hudson-Odoi mops up at the far post.
34min: Barnsley corner as Alonso heads out at the far post. Chelsea can’t quite clear the first time, but Barnsley play themselves offside.
31min: Hudson-Odoi trying to make things happen, but the first time he’s hacked down by Mowatt, and the second time he runs the ball out of bounds after a great 1-2 with Ziyech.
28min: Christensen trying for a salmon header on the ground, gets kicked instead. Everyone ignores the potential head injury and we carry on.
25min: Ziyech with a great ball for Hudson-Odoi, who puts it in low towards Abraham. Barnsley defender makes a great interception for a corner. Chelsea hit the corner low and hard towards the top of the box, but the ball bobbles just as Gilmour’s about to hit it, and the shot is harmless.
24min: Strong defending from Alonso down the left to prevent a couple Barnsley crosses.
23min: Cross from the left, looking for Abraham, but he runs into a defender and falls over. He claims penalty, again, but this one was never going to be one.
21min: Pulisic looks for Abraham, but gets his pass just wrong. Chelsea finally growing into the game.
19min: Barnsley mistake at the back with a miskick and Gilmour pounces, releasing Abraham. He’s in the area and about to shoot but the defender makes an excellent last-ditch sliding tackle. Replays show it might’ve been a foul actually, but no VAR to deliberate so we play on.
17min: Abraham turns well at midfield and has a bit of space to run. He’s closed down by a couple and tries to switch, but his pass deflects long and into the arms of the goalkeeper Collins, after looking like looping over him just for a hot second.
16min: Barnsley win a corner on the left, which Mowatt takes outswinging. Zouma heads clear and Gilmour wins a throw to complete the clearance.
13min: Chelsea continuing to make zero progress against Barnsley’s press, passing it around between the back five.
10min: Big save Kepa! Barnsley play wide where Hudson-Odoi gets rinsed. In comes the cross, and flicked on to the player arriving at the far post. Kepa makes the save with his feet. It looked a certain goal!
9min: Kante steps up and wins the ball at halfway. Tries to release Hudson-Odoi, but CHO’s a step offside.
8min: Chelsea try to play out, fail. Barnsley have a shot from 25 yards. Well wide. Pitch getting quite bad already.
5min: Chelsea finally make it over the halfway line, but the long ball towards Pulisic is easily shepherded out of play for a goal kick.
3min: Chelsea having trouble dealing with Barnsley’s high press and Emerson gives the ball away twice. Gilmour wins it back first time, the second time the shot goes well high over the bar.
2min: Early corner for Barnsley; Chelsea head clear.
1min: Chelsea indeed in a 3-4-3 with Emerson as the left-center back and Alonso at left wing-back. Zouma central in the back three.
KICK-OFF: Everyone’s out on time. The home side in their usual red with white shorts and red socks, Chelsea in all blue including the socks. The players take a knee and Barsnley get us underway.
A spot in the FA Cup quarterfinals is on the line as Chelsea take on Barnsley at Oakwell tonight. The draw for said round will actually be conducted just ahead of the start, 15 minutes before kick-off (barring extra time in the Wolves vs. Southampton match).
As expected, there’s plenty of rotation, plus a couple youngsters on the bench ... and Emerson at
right back (at least according to Chelsea’s tweet ) at left-center back.
Here we go!
Barnsley starting XI:
Collins | Brittain, Sibbick, Helik, Andersen, Styles, Mowatt (c), Kane, Chaplin, Adeboyejo, Woodrow
Substitutes from: Walton, J.Williams, Sollbauer, Moon, Odour, Palmer, Frieser, Dike, Thompson
Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3):
Arrizabalaga | Christensen, Zouma, Emerson | Alonso, Kante (c), Gilmour, Hudson-Odoi | Pulsiic, Abraham, Ziyech
Substitutes from: Caballero, Rudiger, James, Chilwell, Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Bate, Anjorin, Giroud
Date / Time: Thursday, February 11, 2021, 20.00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Oakwell, Barnsley, England
Referee: Martin Atkinson (on pitch); no VAR
On TV: BBC One (UK); none (USA); Sony TEN 2 (India); SuperSport Maximo (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BBC iPlayer (UK); ESPN+ (USA); Sony LIV (India); DStv Now (NGA) — We (WAGNH) have an affiliate link for ESPN+ if you’re in the US and would like to sign up for the best value in sports streaming (or, if you’re like me, sign up for the Disney-Hulu-ESPN+ bundle).
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.