Five things we learned as Chelsea thrash Chesterfield in the FA Cup

Chelsea 5-1 Chesterfield: The Blues were ruthless at home against the National League club

Sarah Rendell
Saturday 08 January 2022 19:32
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Romelu Lukaku apologises to Chelsea fans

Chelsea convincingly defeated Chesterfield Town 5-1 in the third round of the FA Cup.

The Blues ran riot in the first half with goals from Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku. Chesterfield did show some promise with a great save from goalkeeper Scott Loach and a close chance from a free kick.

However, Chelsea showed the difference in skill between 91 league places and were always assured of a comfortable victory.

Andreas Christiansen and Hakim Ziyech added goals but Akwasi Asante lit up the stadium with a famous consolation late on to leave the away fans celebrating long into the night.

Here are five things we learned from the match.

Werner starting return is a dream

Timo Werner was named on the starting sheet for the first time since 12 December, having tested positive for Covid. He did return for their 2-0 Carabao Cup match over Tottenham but was named as a substitute and so he came back with a bang in a starting shirt.

He scored Chelsea’s opening goal in the first five minutes which put the Blues on the front foot. The German international also played a valuable part in Callum Hudson-Odoi’s superb strike.

These will be valuable minutes for Werner who displayed to his manager he deserves more starts.

Asante makes Stamford Bridge go wild

Akwasi Asante got the loudest cheer of the evening with his 80th minute goal. The ground came to life and roared as he struck the ball after Kabongo Tshmanaga had a punt.

The team and fans alike went crazy with Asante blowing kisses to the crowd. It was well deserved as they had promising forward play throughout the match.

Asante scored for Chesterfield

Tshmanaga, who has 19 goals already this season, Saidou Khan and Manny Oyeleke were all impressive and displayed the danger they pose. Oyeleke won a free kick in the opening 10 minutes which was arguably the visitors’ best chance of the first 40 and if their final touch had clinical they would have claimed a score back.

The display will worry teams in the National League promotion battle. Chesterfield are second in the table and just a point off of top spot team Halifax Town. If they play with as much belief throughout the season they should be in League Two next season.

FA Cup remains glorious

The beauty of the FA Cup is displayed in matches like Chelsea vs Chesterfield. 91 league places between the clubs but both playing on the same stage for an evening highlights the glory of the domestic cup.

Not only has the match given the National League side valuable experience, but great funds for the club and experience for the 6,000 fans at Stamford Bridge. The away fans made their presence known which further displayed the emotional edge to the match. There were 35,000 less Chesterfield supporters than Chelsea fans but it felt as though it was 50/50.

When the goal was hit in the celebrations, despite them being 5-1 down, underlined the importance of the competition.

Similar fixtures have played out in the third round and it has added the extra layer of intrigue to football and may long it continue.

Chelsea’s future is bright

Cheslea manager Thomas Tuchel displayed his respect for the FA Cup and Chesterfield with his line-up. Playing stars like Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic was commendable.

However, the player who became the real star of the show was Lewis Hall. The 17-year-old’s skill in defence could see him substituted for the likes of Ben Chilwell and he showed his value upfront with an assist on Lukaku’s goal. The only thing Hall didn’t achieve in the match was getting his name on the scoresheet but it was a breathtaking display from the teenager.

Elsewhere, it was a significant day for Blues player Lewis Baker as has been at Chelsea since the age of nine but he earned just his second appearance for the club against Chesterfield.

Maguire makes an appearance

A lot of talk surrounding the media this week about the fixture has been around Laurence Maguire, Manchester United and England star Harry’s brother.

He told The Telegraph ahead of the game: “Harry has always been really good for my career. When you’re having tough times you can always drop him a text or he’ll give me a call. After games I always tell him what he’s done well and what I feel he could do better, and he’s the same with me.”

He came on with just 20 minutes to go and so had little impact on the game but it’ll be another proud achievement for the Maguire household.

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