I am no stranger to Chelsea being involved in FA Cup shocks. We all saw last season’s humiliation at the hands of Bradford, and I was there in 2008 to see our 1-0 defeat to Barnsley. I was more than a bit worried when we were drawn against another League One club this time around. To see us comfortably make it through was quite refreshing.
I was however very unimpressed by Guus Hiddink’s team selection. Having what seems to be such an impressive and strong youth team at Chelsea, I would have preferred to see a few more youth players involved. I can see why you would go with some of the more experienced players to assure that you made it through, but for Kurt Zouma to be the least experienced player in the side was deeply disappointing.
I know that all three of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy and Bertrand Traore came off the bench, but they could all have played at least an hour. I would be very happy to see Chelsea win the FA Cup given that we need some good news this season after our poor season so far, but Hiddink should really be giving the youth a chance in games like this, and I’m sad to say that he could simply be trying to win the FA Cup for personal gain, not for the good of the team.
Overall, Chelsea put in a good performance. Diego Costa seems to have finally hit top form, and it was a very clever finish from the Spaniard that put the Blues ahead. If he can continue to score the goals like he has in the last couple of weeks, we can still finish in the top seven of the Premier League.
The second half was slightly less convincing. It seemed that because we hadn’t killed the game off, we had begun to fear a shock like that against Bradford. Ramires’ challenge on Kevin van Veen could easily have led to a penalty, but I thought it would have been soft. It was however much more of a penalty than the one given against Leicester for Nathan Dyer’s handball, which I must say was one of the worst penalty decisions I have seen for a long time.
I was happy to see Ruben Loftus-Cheek get his goal. He has deserved a chance in the first team for a while, and even though it came from the bench, he took it. He looked comfortable and dangerous on the ball, and his movement was excellent in the lead up to his goal. The finish was an excellent one, and I hope it will be the first of many that he scores for us in the coming years.
Given that that was the final goal, it was probably a fair result. Scunthorpe came close to a consolation towards the end, but they never really did enough to get anything out of the game. Hopefully Chelsea can make the most of this upturn in form, and possibly climb the table, or maybe even go on to win the FA Cup. It’s the 2015/16 season, anything can happen.