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Chelsea 5-1 Chesterfield: 5 Talking Points as ruthless Chelsea open campaign in style | FA Cup 2021-22

Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring his sides' third goal during the game.
Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring his sides' third goal during the game.
Gunjan Kochrekar
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An injury-stricken Chelsea romped to a comfortable 5-1 win over non-league side Chesterfield in their 2021-22 FA Cup opener at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Goals from Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Romelu Lukaku, Andreas Christensen and Hakim Ziyech got the job done for Thomas Tuchel's men. Chesterfield scored a late consolation goal courtesy Akwasi Asante as the non-league club didn't return scoreless from the English capital.

Meanwhile, the win marked Chelsea's tenth unbeaten result across competitions. It was their second in a Cup tie following their Carabao Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur four days ago. Thomas Tuchel's men now hope to continue their winning run in Cup games when they meet Spurs in the second leg of their semi-final on Tuesday.

Back to the Chesterfield game, it was job done for the men in blue in just the first half as Chelsea led 4-0 at half-time. The Blues eased off in the second half. However, with the squad being severely hit by COVID-19 and injury woes, it was a game well managed by the coaching staff.

On that note, here's a look at the top five talking points from the game:


#1 False wing-backs earn the early laurels for Chelsea

Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech scores a penalty won by Christian Pulisic in the second half.
Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech scores a penalty won by Christian Pulisic in the second half.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has been playing as a wing-back for quite some time under Thomas Tuchel. However, it was one of those rare occasions when Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech had to go the unusual route.

There was no doubt that both wide players were absolutely clear with their manager's instructions right from the kick-off whistle. Hudson-Odoi played on the left wing, demanding the ball for his one-versus-one duels. Meanwhile, Ziyech hugged the touchline, creating space for Lukaku on the right.

A slight improvisation by the former Ajax player in the sixth minute was enough to hand the Blues first blood in the gme. A brilliant run by Mateo Kovacic led to Ziyech finding acres of space in the right half-space. His saved effort was blasted into the net by Timo Werner from close range.

The second goal came from the other wing. Callum Hudson-Odoi picked up a great ball from Christian Pulisic and scored a long-range screamer, just 12 minutes after Werner's opener. This combination of goals from the two false wing-backs clearly meant Tuchel \won the tactical battle in just 18 minutes of game time.

8 - Since his first appearance in the competition in January 2018, Callum Hudson-Odoi has been involved in more #FACup goals than any other @ChelseaFC player (4 goals, 4 assists). Magic.

It was Hudson-Odoi's eighth goal contribution (four goals, four assists) in the FA Cup since 2018, the most by any Chelsea player in this period.


#2 Lewis Hall looks at home in Tuchel's back-three

Lewis Hall had a dream debut on Saturday night with an assist and a great defensive display./
Lewis Hall had a dream debut on Saturday night with an assist and a great defensive display./

The onesided scoreline was not the only thing for the champions of Europe to celebrate on Saturday night against Chesterfield.

The spate of COVID-19 cases and injury woes in the Chelsea squad forced Tuchel to hand 17-year-old Lewis Hall his first team debut. To summarise the youngster's performance on the night: Hall can hold his own in a three-man backline.

Amongst the various attributes on show by Hall, his confidence stood out the most. Paired alongside Malang Sarr and Andreas Christensen in defence, Hall was the most aggressive, as he consistently picked out the right forward passes for his teammates.

Lewis Hall is having fun - briefly loses track of the ball on a foray forward, but gets it back and crosses low for Lukaku to tap in Chelsea's third. Stamford Bridge is enjoying the teenager's performance #CFC

His persistence to win the second ball led to Chelsea's third goal, as Hall entered the final third looking to recover possession. The young player squared a pass to Romelu Lukaku, who finished with ease.

If given the opportunity, Lewis Hall could easily slot into the first team in a few years' time.

#3 Narrow Chesterfield backline proves cannon fodder for Chelsea

Chesterfield's defensive positioning was shambolic in the first half..
Chesterfield's defensive positioning was shambolic in the first half..

Most of Chelsea's chances on the night and even the set-pieces leading to goals were a result of Chesterfield's narrow defending. The visitors maintained a very narrow back three for mosy of the first half and even for large swathes of the second. Their wing-backs had a tough time defending the Blues' incessant attacks.

That meant Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi wreaked havoc on the touchline. As a prominent user of the three-man backline, Tuchel had a comfortable game on the night.

With Chesterfield chasing promotion this season, they will hope to learn the tough lessons from their chastening defeat at Chelsea.


#4 Chelsea strut Cobham talent against Chesterfield

Loftus-Cheek was handed the captain's armband in the second half.
Loftus-Cheek was handed the captain's armband in the second half.

As Harvey Vale, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Baker entered the party on the hour-mark, it was a great spectacle for home fans at Stamford Bridge.

At one point of time in the second half, Chelsea boasted six academy players on the pitch. That only sheds light on the herd of talent coming out of the famed Cobham academy, which has produced the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah. The trio are now an integral part of the Chelsea first team.

It has been a commendable effort from Thomas Tuchel to ease out many young players into the senior ranks this season. That is a welcome departure from what a few other illustrious Chelsea managers did at the club.

In this COVID-stricken period, the new jewels of Cobham might be ready to play a more prominent role pretty soon.


#5 Kabongo Tshimanga impresses against Chelsea

Chesterfield's front three celebrate a goal against Chelsea.
Chesterfield's front three celebrate a goal against Chelsea.

Chesterfield's unlikely goal came through substitute Akwasi Asante. However, that was largely due to Kabongo Tshimanga's composed and strong play in the final third.

The 24-year-old, who has previously represented the England C team, showed resilience and technique to hold off pressure Lewis Baker and Malang Sarr to get his shot on target. Betinelli saw his effort saved, but Asante was on hand to tuck in the rebound.

Tshimanga was one of the key players in this game, which was dominated by the Chelsea stars. The striker has scored 18 goals in 20 Conference Premier games this season, and is the top scorer in the competition at the moment. After almost scoring Chesterfield's opener at Stamford Bridge, Tshimanga showed great confidence against an illustrious opponent.

Though the Spireites bowed out of the competition, they can go with their heads held high. They scored away to deny the European Champions a clean sheet on the night.

Edited by Bhargav
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