Without coach Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea have reached the next round of the cup with a lot of effort.
The Blues prevailed in the 4th round of the English FA Cup at home 2-1 after extra time (1-1, 1-1) against third division Plymouth Argyle. Marcos Alonso (105+1) scored the decisive goal before Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa saved a penalty kick in a highly dramatic final phase. Coach Tuchel had previously tested positive for the corona virus and was represented on the sidelines by his assistant Arno Michels.
The blatant outsider Plymouth took the lead in the Champions League winners in London after just a few minutes through defender Macaulay Gillesphey (8th). Chelsea, who, as usual, started with German national soccer player Antonio Rüdiger, were caught cold after a free kick and needed almost half an hour to equalize, which team captain Cesar Azpilicueta (41st) scored.
In the second half, the hosts with Romelu Lukaku and the substitute German attacking stars Kai Havertz and Timo Werner increased the pressure in attack. However, the Londoners hit the woodwork several times or were denied by Plymouth keeper Michael Cooper, who put in an outstanding performance at Stamford Bridge.
West Ham avoid embarrassment
Shortly before the end of the second half Werner was a step too slow, so it came to extra time. After Alonso’s opening goal, Malang Sarr conceded the penalty in the second half of extra time with his foul on Plymouth’s Ryan Hardie, but Ryan Hardie fired it straight into the arms of Chelsea reserve keeper Kepa (118′).
In the parallel game, West Ham United narrowly prevented an embarrassment. The Hammers, who are fighting for a place in the Champions League in the Premier League, struggled to win 2-1 (1-1, 1-0) after extra time at Kidderminster FC from the sixth English division. After the blatant outsider took the lead through Alex Penny (19′), Declan Rice (90’+1) saved West Ham into extra time, where Jarrod Bowen (120’+1) only made the decision in injury time.