FA Cup: Chelsea trash Hull City 4 – 0 as Willian scores twice

Willian scores for Chelsea
Willian scores for Chelsea
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STAMFORD BRIDGE staged the first of two major Cup matches in the space of five days.

And there, the similarities ended.

We hope it will be an epic Champions League scrap against Barcelona.

Unfortunately for the TV execs who chose to screen this fifth round tie, there was nothing epic about a match that was over after 32 minutes.

At one stage, it threatened to end up like the fourth round replay when Swansea battering the living daylights out of Notts County in an 8-1 win.

Willian scored twice, Olivier Giroud grabbed his first goal for Chelsea while Pedro – hoping to face his former club in the week – also found the net before being replaced at half-time.

A hammering of Michael Dawson’s Hull, where the fans could sit back and watch a glorified training ground contest, will be now followed by the visit on Tuesday of Lionel Messi and friends, where the same supporters will be on the edge of their seats.

The FA Cup is massively important for Antonio Conte. It could even be the tournament which saves his job.

And even though his future is unclear, the locals once again made their feelings clear as they continually sung his name in the first half of a mismatch against the 21st-placed team in the Championship.

Only half of Conte’s team last night are likely to start against Barca but this was still a reasonable, confidence-boosting run-out. The worst-case scenario of a tough match and a replay was simply never going to happen.

For at least the first 20 minutes, Hull needed to keep things solid and at least try and frustrate the home side.

Instead, they managed to keep Chelsea out for the grand total of 106 seconds.

Kevin Stewart, who suffered a torrid night, lost possession under pressure from Giroud and the ball came to Willian who showed composure and class, while being given plenty of time, before directing an effort into the top left-hand corner from just inside the area.

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This was the type of match which Fabregas loves as he was being given time to spray passes around the pitch and he played an absolutely belting ball towards Pedro.

He took one touch – with his shin – before guiding an effort from just inside the area past Marshall.

Those watching down the pub will have found more interesting things to focus when Chelsea made it 3-0.

Willian lost possession with a fancy flick but Hull midfielder Stewart returned the compliment yet again by losing the ball.

Like the first goal, it was Giroud who seized possession and he played in Willian who scored via the post.

Hull were unable to get down the tunnel for a half-time breather for Giroud to resister his first effort since leaving Arsenal. it was a clever close-range flick from a cross by Emerson, who was making his debut.

At half-time, Callum Hudson-Odoi replaced Pedro as Conte prepared for Barcelona.

Hull got a penalty three minutes into the second half with Harry Wilson, on loan from Liverpool, fouled by Fabregas but David Meyler’s penalty was at the right height for Caballero to push away.

With 20 minutes left, Giroud was replaced by Alvaro Morata which proved beyond doubt who will be starting against Barca in four days’ time.

Giroud, though, will find the quality of defending slightly better yet however tough, it is not an impossible mission for Chelsea.

Particularly when you consider the staggering week English clubs have enjoyed.

Hopefully, Conte’s team along with Manchester United, can ensure the remarkable scenario of five teams in the last eight of the Champions league.

For Conte, though, there is one small other matter tonight – the draw for the last eight of the FA Cup.

Although it has been a troubling season for the champions, it would be typical Chelsea if they still ended the season with a trophy.


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