The Spanish avoid a blow from Chelsea in the FA Cup

The modest teams give so many scares to the powerful in the FA Cup that it would be necessary to begin to consider if it can be considered as a surprise. If not, let them tell Chelsea, who had to wait 120 minutes to beat Plymouth, from League One (what could be considered the British third division). A rival who managed to score in the opening minutes and was about to go to penalties, if it weren’t for a miraculous performance by Kepa and two great goals by Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, already in extra time.

And that Stamford Bridge hosted the fourth round of the FA Cup on a festive day. The local fans waved a banner that read the following: “The pride of London” (the pride of London) and Chelsea came out with an eleven full of regulars, to avoid scares. The only one missing was the coach, Thomas Tuchel, who announced his positive for COVID a few hours before the match and was unable to lead his men.

Despite the initial push from the blues, it was Plymouth who took the lead after 7 minutes of the match. Guillesphey’s header from a set piece stunned the Chelsea defense, which once again showed its shortcomings in this type of action. Incredulous, the blue players continued with the established plan and tried to beat the rival goalkeeper, Coopersurprised by two shots from Kovacic and Hudson-Odoi that hit the crossbar.

By then, Chelsea were already taking center stage with incessant ascents down the flanks, and Kovacic gave a third warning with a shot from outside the box that found the woodwork again. For an instant, talent prevailed on the edge of rest, when Azpilicueta surprised with a spectacular heel shot. Captain Blue’s great goal crowned a wonderful play by the locals, who were about to come back before the end of the first half with another long-range shot.

Marcos Alonso was the only novelty after the break, because Chelsea continued to combine scoring chances. Lukaku was close to the goal on two occasions in which fortune escaped him by centimeters. The Plymouth boys, known as the pilgrims, did not leave their field and entrusted themselves to Cooper, who overcame the initial scare with a few good deeds and a bit of luck under the sticks: Azpilicueta beat him again with another surprising backheel, but the goal was disallowed for offside.

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Despite the obvious difference in level, the pilgrims resisted against all odds. The minutes passed, the arrivals of Chelsea were constant but the ball did not go in and the Londoners were a bundle of nerves. That gave oxygen to the small team, which was about to score in the 70th minute, in a one-on-one that Kepa providentially saved. Chelsea then responded with a whiplash from Mount to which Cooper responded with a feline save, already the best man for the visitors.

Werner entered the scene ten minutes from the end of regulation time and Chelsea put all the meat on the grill, but the pilgrim defense defended so vigorously that extra time was upon them. That would be his sentence. 30 minutes were too much for the visitors, who saw Marcos Alonso make a comeback with a cross shot and Kepa save a penalty, after a disastrous error by Sarr. Finally, the locals breathed a sigh of relief. And all thanks to the Spanish.

West Ham suffers to eliminate a Sixth division

Kidderminster, from the English sixth division, made West Ham United suffer more than expected, who needed two goals in added time, one in the 90 minutes and the other in extra time, to certify his place in the round of 16 of the FA Cup (1-2).

A goal from Alex Penny in the 19th minute, after taking advantage of an error in Alphonse Areola’s exit, served to give Kidderminster, the lowest category team still alive in the competition, an advantage on the scoreboard.

Kidderminster, who have never played in a division higher than the fourth division, touched the dream. He resisted the attempts of a thick West Ham until the discount of the match, when Declan Rice received a pass from Pablo Fornals, cut inside the area and shot the Kidderminster goalkeeper.

The goal did not sink Kidderminster, which He kept his cool in extra time until 121′, when Jarrod Bowen made it 1-2 and ended the hopes of the 7,000 people gathered at Aggbouroug Stadium.

Kidderminster fell short of repeating their best performance in the FA Cup, where they reached the round of 16 in the 1993/1994 season.

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