Home SPORTSFOOTBALL FA Cup :Chelsea Beat Luton Town 3-2 In A Thriller

FA Cup :Chelsea Beat Luton Town 3-2 In A Thriller

by Soumadeep Bagchi

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea denied Luton Town a fairytale upset at Kenilworth Road, coming from behind twice to defeat the Championship side 2-1 in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round.

Reece Burke put the Hatters ahead after just 102 seconds and while Saul Niguez levelled for the visitors, Harry Cornick gave the home side a 2-1 lead going into the break.

But second-half goals from Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku ensured Chelsea’s safe passage to the next round, just days after Thomas Tuchel’s men lost in the League Cup final.

It was the first time the Hatters had reached this stage since 2013 when they became the first non-league side in the Premier League era to beat a top-flight club in the competition.

Norwich were their victims that day and after just two minutes, the Kenilworth Road faithful were dreaming of another upset after the Championship outfit took a stunning lead.

Having earned their first corner of the game, Reece Burke rose highest to meet the delivery towards the near post and glance his header past Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga.

With the atmosphere rocking, Burke came close to adding a second minutes later only to see his looping header from a free-kick punched away by Arrizabalaga this time.

Chelsea responded with their first opportunity as Lukaku looked to get on the end of Hakim Ziyech’s ball over the top as Luton goalkeeper Jed Steer raced out of his goal.

Neither Steer or Lukaku managed to get to the ball, with the chance coming to nothing, but it proved to be the end of the Luton shot-stopper’s night as he injured his ankle in the process.

Harry Isted replaced Steer and soon found himself in the thick of the action, collecting a Niguez header as Chelsea began to pile the pressure on the hosts.

The leveller arrived on 27 minutes after Luton gave the ball away in their own half, with Werner countering at speed before laying it off to Niguez to sweep it home.
But rather than crumble against the Club World Cup champions, the Hatters retook the lead on the cusp of half-time as Cornick slotted past Arrizabalaga after going through one-on-one.
Nathan Jones’ side started the second half much like they did the first, closing down the visitors at speed as the European champions found themselves repeatedly frustrated.
But Luton’s resistance was eventually broken for a second time on 67 minutes, with Werner taking advantage of Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s pass to slide home a cool finish into the corner.

And the Premier League outfit completed the comeback on 78 minutes as Lukaku pounced on a ball across the six yard box from Werner to strike the decisive, match-winning blow.

Luton Town coach Nathan Jones said,““We’re on different planets resources wide so I’m so proud of the club, so proud of the group of players and proud of the supporters because we showed the team in good light. It was televised so there was potential for the upset, we led twice, we had to defend well but we’ve given a wonderful account of ourselves and I’m so proud of everyone tonight.”

After the match Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel said ,”It was huge difference to come from Wembley from a final, after which we gave a well-deserved day off to the players. Then you have one day to turn around your mind and settle into this new challenge.

There were lot of players out and we have more or less no defensive players and a completely new set-up and a completely new competition.”


FA Cup Chelsea Luton FC Football Sports Kolkata

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