CHELSEA ADVANCE IN FA CUP THRILLER VIA PENALTIES
CHLSEA were involved in a near elimination from the FA cup last night against a spirited Norwich.
EDEN HAZARD stepped up to spare Chelsea’s blushes with the winning shootout penalty after a VAR controversy.
A stunning blunder denied the Blues a penalty in extra-time when Norwich defender Timm Klose appeared to trip Willian in the box.
But referee Graham Scott did not give it and the VAR ref Mike Jones did not over-rule the decision as they did not deem it a ‘clear and obvious’ error.
There were also two Blues players sent off in added time. First Pedro, who picked up a second yellow for a foul on Wes Hoolahan after being booked for diving in normal time.
And then Alvaro Morata picked up two bookings in seconds — one for diving and then a second for dissent for protesting the decision straight after.
In the penalty incident, Willian was even booked for diving and TV pundits slammed the fact the system did not call for a spot-kick.
Relief was palpable as the Chelsea squad win 5-3 on penalties
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was furious but nobody was happy at Stamford Bridge last night for an FA Cup third round replay nobody really wanted.
Goal scorer Batshayi,,
Batshuayi’s second-half goal was a tap in from a low centre into the area by Brazilian left-back Kenedy.
It did not require much other than sticking a foot out to divert the ball past Gunn but it will have done him some psychological good after playing second fiddle to Morata for most of the season.
Conte will still be a bit worried about his team. Norwich were desperately unlucky not to equalise when James Maddison’s 60th-minute shot was cleared off the line by Ethan Ampadu.
Keeper Willy Caballero also made a superb one-handed save from Maddison.
Nelson Oliveira hit the bar and did enough to rattle Chelsea consistently enough that Conte was forced to bring on Andreas Christensen and Morata for the last ten minutes of the 90.
Player of the Year N’Golo Kante had joined them supposedly to see the game out but in the fourth minute of injury time teenager Jamal Lewis sent the tie into extra-time when he flicked on a ball into the box from Timm Klose to score his first goal for the Canaries.
The game went to penalties eventually with Caballero saving from Nelson Oliviera to give Chelsea the victory.