Chelsea booked their passage to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 5-1 win over MK Dons at the Stadium mk. A first-half hat-trick from Oscar and a first goal of the season for Eden Hazard saw the Blues qualify after an early scare when the Dons equalised.
MK Dons: Martin, Spence, McFadzean, Walsh, Lewington (C), Potter, Forster-Caskey, Carruthers, Hall, Murphy, Bowditch
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (C), Baba, Matic, Fabregas, Oscar, Loftus-Cheek, Hazard, Costa
First Half: Oscar nets first-half hat-trick
“We're not here to pass the time,” Guus Hiddink said. “Chelsea must always go for a title. The FA Cup is a target.” And the Blues made their intentions known as they attacked the Championship side right from kickoff.
Diego Costa was the first to pull the trigger for the Blues, a right-footed shot from near the penalty spot saved after he was fed by Oscar. Three minutes later, Oscar had the chance to open the scoring but his shot went wide.
However, the defending Premier League champions finally got their breakthrough after a defensive lapse from the Dons. A back pass was pounced on by Costa and he laid it on a plate for Oscar making a run into the box and he had no problems finding the back of the net with the goalkeeper helpless.
But the lead only lasted six minutes as MK Dons hit back. Samir Carruthers found Darren Potter outside the box and his shot deflected off Nemanja Matic’s ankle before looping over Thibaut Courtois into goal to make it 1-1.
At this stage, Chelsea were still dominating the game. Eden Hazard, looking for his first goal of the season, was released by Cesc Fabregas down the left channel. With the only the goalkeeper to beat, his shot was parried away by David Martin and the ball hit the post. Costa and Ruben Loftus-Cheek also came close but couldn’t find the target.
The Blues then reclaimed the lead through Oscar again in the 32nd minute. The Brazilian made another dash into the box and a through ball from Loftus-Cheek saw Oscar escape his marker and take a shot across goal into the top left corner.
The 24-year-old then completed his hat-trick with a solo run past the midfield and defence. After moving forward with the ball on the left flank, Oscar cut in towards the centre, ran along the edge of the box before unleashing a curling effort that found the bottom corner.
Half-Time: MK Dons 1-3 Chelsea
Second Half: Eden Hazard opens his account for the season
The second half started with Chelsea suffering a number of fouls as the Dons attempted to win the ball back with Hiddink’s side keeping more than 60% of the possession. The home side also had a couple of chances on goal with Josh Murphy’s shot saved while Robert Hall’s effort was blocked.
But 10 minutes into the half, Eden Hazard scored his first goal of the season, albeit from the penalty spot. After drawing a foul from Potter inside the box, the Belgian forward stepped up and found the bottom left corner with a low effort to score his first goal since May last year.
Five minutes later, Hazard assisted Bertrand Traore for the fifth goal. His shot from inside the box found the bottom right corner and, at 5-1, a slew of substitutions followed as Willian and Pedro replaced Oscar and Hazard. For the Dons, Josh Murphy was replaced by Jonathan Williams.
With no hope of a comeback, the home side decided to shut shop and keep the scoreline as respectable as possible. They played with 10 men sitting behind the ball. The match then descended into a game of few chances.
Willian had a free kick late in the game but his shot was straight down the throat of goalkeeper Martin. With only one minute added on, the DOns could do nothing to improve the scoreline and Chelsea advanced to the next round with a comfortable victory.
Full-Time: MK Dons 1-5 Chelsea