FA Cup: Chelsea win at home and Tottenham draw with Leicester while Oxford United stun Swansea City
Chelsea 2-0 Scunthorpe United
Guus Hiddink picked a full strength side, acknowledging the FA Cup as Chelsea’s best chance of silverware this season. After enjoying a rich spell of possession in the first 10 minutes, Diego Costa made Chelsea’s dominance pay in the 13th minute, diverting the ball home from Branislav Ivanovic’s right wing cross.
Fabregas drew a vital save from Scunthorpe keeper Luke Daniels minutes later, while Oscar shot wide as Chelsea threatened to double their lead midway through the first half. Scunthorpe came back into the game as the half drew to a close, as Kurt Zouma had to make an excellent last ditch tackle on Luke Williams, after he profited from a Gary Cahill mistake and was bearing down on goal.
Hiddink replaced Oscar with Ruben Loftus-Cheek at half time, but it was anothe Chelsea midfielder, Ramires, who nearly conceded a penalty early in the scond half. The Brazilian clipped Kevin van Ween’s heels in the box, but the referee waved away Scunthorpe’s appeals for a penalty in the 53rd minute.
The decision turned out to be far worse for Scunthorpe as 10 minutes later, Loftus-Cheek doubled Chelsea’s lead to add to the Iron’s sense of aggrievement. The highly rated Chelsea youngster ran onto the end of a Cesar Azpilicueta cross and finished sweetly with his left foot into the near post, giving Chelsea a 2-0 lead in the 68th minute.
To their credit, Scunthorpe United did not give up the ghost, as Van Ween and Jordan Clarke shot had good efforts aimed at Chelsea’s goal late in the game, but Asmir Begovic kept his clean sheet as the final whistle blew, which meant Chelsea were through to the 4th round of the FA Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Leicester City
Mauricio Pochettino and Claudio Ranieri both decided to rest their star stikers Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, but Spurs did not feel their star's absence as they got off to a swift start. Christian Eriksen opened the scoring for the hosts in the 8th minute, sweeping home a rebound after Kasper Schmeichel had parried Nacer Chadli's shot.
Leicester grabbed an equaliser in the 19th minute, as Marcin Wasilewski powered home a header from a corner delivered by new signing Demarai Gray. The Pole profited from poor defending by Spurs, running free from Toby Alderweireld and was unchallenged as he headed home into the far corner.
Tottenham conspired to miss presentable chances as the half wore on, and Spurs went into the break the unhappier of the two sides as they had been far more brighter than the Foxes in the first half.
Shinji Okazaki came on for Leicester in the second half and immediately made an impact, the Japanese striker was found on the left by an intelligent pass from Andy King, and Okazaki cut inside and danced past three Spurs defenders before striking at Vorm who saved his first effort. Okazaki reacted well to the rebound and lashed home through a small gap at the near post, giving the Foxes a 2-1 lead in the 47th minute.
Demarai Gray nearly underlined his impressive debut with a goal, but the 19-year-old's curling effort after cutting inside on his right foot went narrowly wide in the 63rd minute. Harry Kane and Dele Alli came on in quick succesion as Tottenham attempted to rescue the game after dominating the first half.
And rescue is precisely what Harry Kane did, as the Tottenham striker rifled home a penalty in the 89th minute after Nathan Dyer was penalised for a handball in the box. As the final whistle blew, the game ended 2-2 which meant that the sides will meet for a 7th time in 12 months when Spurs travel to Leicester for the replay.
Oxford United 3-2 Swansea City
League Two outfit Oxford United caused the first FA Cup upset of the season as they defeated Premier League strugglers Swansea City 3-2 in the day’s early kickoff. Jefferson Montero’s stunning backheeled 23rd minute opener for Swansea seemed to have given the Welsh side a comfortable day to look forward to, but a fortunate penalty for Oxford United at the end of the first half from Liam Sercombe meant that the sides went into the break on level terms.
The Yellows turned the game on its head in the 49th minute, as Kemar Roofe cut in from the right and scored a lovely solo effort to give Oxford United a shock lead. 10 minutes later, Roofe raised the roof off the Kassam stadium as he was at the end of a swift counter and gave Oxford a 3-1 lead in the 59th minute. Bafetimi Gomis’ sweet side-footed strike into the bottom corner in the 66th minute gave the Swans some hope, but Oxford United held on to cause the first FA Cup upset of the season.
Other Scores :
Carlisle United 2-2 Yeovil Town