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Blues rush to FA Cup fourth round as fringe players and kids shine in dominant display

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A day of classic FA Cup upheavals, Chelsea made sure they weren’t going to be another giant killer.

The eight winners swept Chesterfield 5-1 out of the league at Stamford Bridge to secure their place in the fourth round with consummate ease.

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Werner scored Chelsea’s first of the night as he scored an open goalCredit: AFP
Hudson-Odoi brilliantly doubled Chelsea's lead with a superb strike from outside the box

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Hudson-Odoi brilliantly doubled Chelsea’s lead with a superb strike from outside the boxCredit: Reuters
Lukaku scored three goals in 14 minutes as his scuffed effort found its way into the corner

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Lukaku scored three goals in 14 minutes as his scuffed effort found its way into the cornerCredit: Reuters

It only took Timo Werner six minutes to get Thomas Tuchel’s side off the ground in this year’s FA Cup.

Mateo Kovacic advanced before feeding Hakim Ziyech and his shot was steadily brought home on the rebound by the shy German striker.

Ziyech then passed nearly a second as the Blues undermined the non-league team’s goal from the start – the Algerian erasing a right-footed effort to the top corner, only for Scott Loach to deny him a superb stop.

But the Chesterfield keeper was unable to do anything against Callum Hudson-Odoi’s nasty strike in the 18th minute as the young Englishman cut from the left before winding a sumptuous strike into the far corner.

And that was three minutes before the 20-minute mark as Chelsea debutant Luke Hall grabbed possession deep in the visitors’ half and crossed for Romelu Lukaku to hide inside. the surface of six meters.

It was a remarkable performance from defender Hall, 17, who looked utterly inconsistent in his first appearance in front of the Stamford Bridge crowd.

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Christensen led the Blues' fourth before halftime

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Christensen led the Blues’ fourth before halftimeCredit: Getty
Ziyech sent in Chelsea penalty to add fifth goal for Premier League side

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Ziyech sent in Chelsea penalty to add fifth goal for Premier League sideCredit: Reuters
Young teenage defender Hall shone for Chelsea on Saturday night

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Young teenage defender Hall shone for Chelsea on Saturday nightCredit: AFP
Asante scored a memorable goal for Chesterfield Town in front of his traveling fans

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Asante scored a memorable goal for Chesterfield Town in front of his traveling fansCredit: AFP

Chesterfield provided a period of resistance midway through the first half before Tuchel’s side helped each other to a fourth seven minutes before the break.

Andreas Christensen curled a header on Loach after Werner’s initial strike was parried directly to the Dane to cap the perfect 45 minutes for the European champions.

With the match settled before the break, Tuchel took the opportunity to replace Lukaku and Kovacic with Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for the second half.

And Chelsea scored five points when Christian Pulisic was awkwardly knocked down in the box, allowing Ziyech to hit the resulting penalty at home.

Tuchel made several other changes, including bringing in 26-year-old Lewis Baker for his second Chelsea appearance more than seven years after his debut.

The game slowed down somewhat after the hour mark as Chelsea eased off the gas and Chesterfield realized they weren’t going to produce the kind of upheaval Cambridge and Kidderminster had pulled off hours earlier.

Itinerant fans nearly celebrated their own goal in the 73rd minute when center-back Fraser Kerr fired his shot into the side net from a tight angle.

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But just seven minutes later, the visiting supporters had their memorable moment when Kabongo Tshimanga’s shot was aimed directly into Akwasi Asante’s path who couldn’t miss.

The away end has erupted as Chesterfield fans enjoyed a sensational cup memory at the home of the European Champions.

But it’s Chelsea ahead – the 24th consecutive campaign they’ve qualified for the FA Cup fourth round.

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