Ross Barkley and Callum Hudson-Odoi were on the scoresheet as the Blues won 2-0 over Forest for the second year running. This meant that Chelsea had progressed from the third round of the FA Cup for the 22nd consecutive time.
The kickoff of all FA Cup games in the third round was delayed by a minute to spread awareness about mental health as part of the ongoing Heads Up campaign by the FA. It is vital to talk about mental health freely and it’s a good move by the FA.
Chelsea commomorated an important achievement 50 years ago today when they won their first FA Cup by beating Leeds United. As part of the celebrations the club released a new jersey that was modeled from the one worn in 1970. It should already be declared as the best kit this season. Some of the players who played that final and the relatives of others were presented to the crowd at half-time.
Frank Lampard made nine changes to the team that drew away at Brighton on New Year’s Day. Caballero played in goal while Ross Barkley, Pedro, Andreas Christensen and Michy Batshuayi all returned to the starting eleven. The Blues put in a dominant first half performance and had two goals to show for it. Hudson-Odoi opened the scoring early when he found the near bottom corner of the Forest goal following a good run across the field by Pedro.
There was some VAR controversy as well when Forest were denied a penalty for offside in the first half, which was a close call and could have gone either way. But it was 2-0 to Chelsea soon when Barkley, lurking behind the visitor’s backline, tapped in Hudson-Odoi’s shot which was pushed away by Jordan Smith.
Chelsea came knocking once again in the second half but couldn’t make their chances count. Forest had very little to show but had one good chance which was ruled out for offside.
The entire team was in full flow as both full-backs marched up and down the wings while Tomori and Christensen guarded the defence by putting in a solid display. Jorginho and Kovacic were business as usual. Pedro had some good moments while Batshuayi and Barkely were showing mixed displays. They were clearly trying to prove that they want to be in the first choice eleven but didn’t make their case strong enough. The standout performer was however 19-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi who scored one and set up the other while creating a bunch of other chances. Mason Mount and Tariq Lamptey came on late in the game but made no significant impact.
It was a convincing display from the Blues and Lampard seemed pleased by it. The draw for the fourth round is on Monday from 19:35 GMT. Next, the Blues host Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday.