A fully rotated Chelsea team struggled a fair bit against an also well-rotated Aston Villa side, especially in the first half, but eventually we got our act together and though we needed a shootout, we’re into the fourth round!
Chelsea started brightly, with some decent possession and impetus in the first 10 minutes, but that initial verve died away rather quickly, only to be replaced by slow and largely aimless possession, and plenty of sloppy errors.
Villa weren’t much better either, but they did create the half’s best chances, with young Cameron Archer twice failing to beat Kepa, firing over when 1-v-1 and then seeing Kepa make a save with his shoulder. Reece James cleared one shot off the line while Trevoh Chalobah made multiple crucial interventions.
Chelsea improved after the break, and quickly took the lead through Timo Werner, who could’ve made it two almost immediately after as well. But he didn’t and not long after, Villa scored a carbon copy of the goal instead at the other end.
Villa had a brief resurgence after their equalizer, but Kepa made a couple big saves and kept Chelsea in it. We pressed hard for a winner in the final ten minutes, but were unable to find one. And so, off to penalties we went.
Kepa made a save and James won it!
- Ten changes for Tuchel, with Kepa the only one keeping his spot from the weekend
- Back-three of Sarr-Chalobah-James, though tilted a bit to the right as CHO played more wing than wing-back.
- RLC surprisingly the deepest of the three midfielders, Ziyech floating as a No.10 central and right-central, and Werner up top. Kante and Mount switched at the half to be the third mid (and also captains on the day), alongside Saul.
- Ross Barkley makes an appearance.
- Werner the 12th different goalscorer for Chelsea this season already! (15 total goals)
- Villa penalties: El Ghazi (scores), Young (crossbar), Nakamba (Kepa save), Konsa (scores), Buendia (scores)
- Chelsea penalties: Lukaku (scores), Mount (scores), Barkley (scores), Chilwell (crossbar), James (scores)
- Next up: big one on Saturday, noon kickoff at home against Manchester City