3-2, Chelsea! We move to the FA Cup quarterfinals!
Welcome to a cold, rainy Wednesday night somewhere in Luton, where the locals are hoping for a strong dose of the Magic of the Cup™. Big bad Chelsea stand in their way, ready to make everyone feel bad.
Tuchel has cobbled together what looks like a very attacking lineup, with three youngsters on the bench as well.
Here we go!
Luton Town starting lineup (5-3-2):
Steer | Potts (c), Lockyer, Burke, Kioso, Bell | Osho, Berry | Mendes Gomes | Cornick, Muskwe
Substitutes from: Isted, Bree, Naismith, Hylton, Snodgrass, Clark, Campbell, Thorpe, Jerome
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Arrizabalaga | Kenedy, Sarr, Rüdiger, Hudson-Odoi | Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho (c), Saúl | Werner, Lukaku, Mount
Substitutes from: Mendy, Kanté, Kovacic, Pulisic, Barkley, James, Williams, Vale, Hall
Date / Time: Wednesday, March 2, 19.15 GMT; 2:15pm EST; 12:45am IST (next day)
Venue: Kenilworth Road, Luton, England
Referee: Peter Bankes; no VAR
90+3min FINAL WHISTLE
+3 minutes of play until the end of the game.
A rugby tackle by Danny Hylton on Kepa gives the goalkeeper some time to think about life and what he should have for dinner.
Reece James doing a lot to help Chelsea with keeping the ball to themselves and most importantly, out of danger.
Luton remain hopeful, but Chelsea still dominate possession and attacking moves. Keep it going!
The lead is finally ours! This time Werner is able to meet his fellow centre-forward with a cross, and he scores on a sliding shot! 3-2 to the Blues!
The opposition answers with Robert Snodgrass and Danny Hylton in place of Muskwe and Carlos Mendes Gomes.
Jorginho out, Reece James in.
Mount sets Werner on yet another good run. The German attacker tries to centre the ball towards Lukaku, but angle and speed of play do not favour his attempt.
Reece James is next in line to enter the pitch…
Vale this time tries a shot at the keeper, and Isted claims it.
One great ball from the backline by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timo Werner is unlocked! He keeps it simple and buries it past Isted to tie it all again for Chelsea! 2-2 to the Blues!
Vale puts a good cross to the box with his left foot from the right side of the pitch. It is however claimed by Isted.
Luton makes changes of their own, with Harry Cornick and Luke Berry out for Cameron Jerome and Allan Campbell.
Christian Pulisic enters the pitch in place of Kenedy, while young Harvey Vale gets another chance to impress as a substitute to Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Christian Pulisic looks set to enter the pitch…
A Luton clearance almost turns into a chance for the hosts. However Muskwe is too eager on trying to take the ball away from Sarr, fouling the Chelsea defender in the process.
Werner holds the ball for a little too long in the box, and we get another corner. Loftus-Cheek gets good contact on the ball with a header, but it does not head goalwards.
No good outcome from the corner, however.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek steps out of the backline and tries to send Chelsea into attack with a central run. While he loses the ball due to a foul, we do get a corner kick from the play started by the midfielder turned central defender (?) today.
Kepa steps out of the box to sweep the ball away for a free throw to Luton.
Saúl tries again from range, but the attempt makes for an easy defence by Isted.
Chelsea moving forward with Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner on the right. Rüdiger tries to put a cross inside the box, but it goes way beyond. The second attempt by Rüdiger is better, but not by much.
And we’re back! Let’s go, Chelsea!
First half comes to an end, with Luton Town ahead 2-1.
Chelsea trying one last hurrah before the first half comes to an end with Kenedy and Saúl. The ensuing corner kick is just not good enough for that.
Chelsea’s defence is almost caught off-guard. Cornick however is too eager and commits a foul in trying to get the ball to a dangerous position.
Timo Werner falls to the pitch after an aerial challenge. Thankfully he looks just fine, as there had been no head-to-head collision.
+5 minutes of play in this first half.
Luton are back to their emboldened selves. Not good!
Rüdiger tries to take matters into his own hand with a shot from range, but it hits Lukaku in the way towards the goal.
One more dangerous play by Luton after a mistake from kickoff, with Kepa saving Admiral Muskwe’s attempt.
Just when we though we had regained control of the match, Luton shows up again. One quick interplay and Harry Cornick is sent free – and maybe offside, but there’s no VAR to assess that today – to a 1v1 against Kepa. He does what needs to be done, and puts Luton back in front in the scoreline.
Nearly a gravely mistake by Isted! He goes too far forward to get the ball and it falls to Lukaku, with no one in front on him. However there was still time for the young goalkeeper and his defenders to correct the record.
How the tables have turned! Now it is Chelsea not letting Luton make it past their own half.
Lukaku tries his luck from the edge of the box, forcing Isted to make yet another save!
Callum Hudson-Odoi tries to get the ball in the box. It is sent to the sideline for a free throw.
Nearly 90% ball retention to Chelsea since Saúl’s goal.
Saúl, again! A great run to the box and a neat finish, but Isted intervenes to put it all for a corner. On the ensuing play Kenedy nearly scores, and Isted again saves it!
The goal might have had a chilling effect on Luton, who are no longer as far-forward as before. Gotta enjoy the momentum and get the turnaround!
And what a goal it is! Werner cuts inside from the right and nearly loses the ball after a tackle. While the ball runs farther than he wants, Saúl arrives and takes a great shot from distance to score the tying goal in Chelsea’s favour! 1-1 to the Blues!
A floated cross to the far post and Kepa has to work, thanks to a Luton free header at him.
One more Luton corner kick, cleared this time by Rüdiger.
One great cross from Mason Mount on the right to the far post falls to Saúl. The Spaniard’s headed attempt is however defended by Isted.
Sarr, Kenedy and Saúl are trying to get something going for Chelsea on the left flank. But quality is lacking.
Saúl tries to beat Peter Kioso on a run down the left, but fouls the Luton wing-back in the process.
Chelsea still finding it really hard to keep the ball for long stretches of time, whereas Luton try their best at sending the ball forward whenever they have it.
Looks like every free kick in our half to Luton will be used as an opportunity for them to try to put the ball in the box. As one would expect.
Antonio Rüdiger hits a long pass from the back and it falls close to Timo Werner in the area. One extra bounce on the ball and it is claimed by Isted.
Luton goalkeeper Jed Steer is out of the pitch on a stretcher. He is substituted by Harry Isted.
Saúl nearly hits a great pass over the top to Romelu Lukaku. But attention quickly turns to Luton goalkeeper Jed Steer, who seemingly injured himself in trying to get the ball away from Lukaku’s vicinity.
A Luton cross is claimed by Kepa. In the meantime Chelsea have not been able to menace the hosts to the same degree.
Another dangerous header by Burke, and Kepa manages to punch it – weakly, but better than nothing. The play is then stopped due to Burke and pretty much every other Luton involved in the play being offside.
Luton keeps pressing high, leading to some difficulties from Chelsea to get the ball out of the defensive third. And they get yet another deadball opportunity.
Sarr tries to unlock Timo Werner on the left and the attacker gets a cross inside the penalty box. The ball is cleared by a Luton defender.
Although ahead in the game, Luton keep pushing on with deadball plays. Gotta watch out for them!
Just our luck. Malang Sarr does not rise as high as Reece Burke, and the hosts score the first goal of the match.
First corner to Luton, after a long throw from the hosts is deflected behind the goal by Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Pre-match rain should make this a fast-ball match. But that will depend on Luton as well
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