Batshuayi stars as Chelsea ease through against Newcastle
Chelsea 3 - 0 Newcastle

Batshuayi stars as Chelsea ease through against Newcastle

28/01/2018

Michy Batshuayi scored twice as Chelsea marched on in the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.

Defeat by Arsenal on Wednesday saw them eliminated from the Carabao Cup at the semifinal stage.

But they avoided elimination from a second cup competition in a week as Batshuayi's first-half double and a brilliant Marcos Alonso free kick ensured progression to Monday's fifth-round draw.

A second win from eight games this month, not including the third-round penalty shootout victory over Norwich, eased talk of crisis on the field at least.

Antonio Conte has said he is happy at Chelsea but did little to diffuse talk of friction with the club hierarchy, and the home supporters sang in his support.

Chelsea struggled to hold on to the ball in the first half and might have gifted a goal to Newcastle, but Dwight Gayle's indecision reprieved Davide Zappacosta after the Italian's poor pass was intercepted and Willy Caballero then saved a Jonjo Shelvey volley.

Chelsea had half-chances, but their accuracy in the final third was perhaps best summed up by a Danny Drinkwater shot which went out for a throw in.

But all that changed when Antonio Rudiger fed Pedro down the right and the Spaniard threaded a crossfield pass 40 yards to Eden Hazard, turning the Magpies defence.

Hazard waited and teed up the on-rushing Alonso, who had the presence of mind to play the ball on for Batshuayi to tuck in.

Rudiger curled a left-footed shot from 25 yards around the far post before Chelsea, and Batshuayi, enjoyed further good fortune.

Pedro and Hazard combined to find the striker, whose shot ballooned up off the leg of Jamaal Lascelles and in.

Caballero then saved from Shelvey and Chancel Mbemba in quick succession before Chelsea resumed on the attack as Pedro fired just over and Alonso had a volley saved by Karl Darlow.

Alonso had his seventh goal of the season when he curled in a 25-yard free-kick after Zappacosta was fouled, and Darlow denied Batshuayi in stoppage time as the Blues eased into the next round.

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