BY PAUL LAGAN
Callum Hudson-Odi and Ross Barkley signalled to head coach Frank Lampard that they should not be overlooked when league action returned next week. Both scored in the regulation 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup 3rd round at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.
VAR fell the way of the home side – twice it was called into action to adjudicate on Forest net-busters – both times a knee and an heel were deemed to be offside and the efforts chalked off.
It left a bitter taste on the visitors lips as they made the best of the occasion without getting any just reward.
Chelsea played in replica kit to the ones that adorned the FA Cup victors 50 years ago. How they wished that had a Peter Osgood and a Charlie Cooke to support these days.
How Blues just six minutes to open the scoring with their first attack.
It was a beautifully controlled attack, that started in the Forest final third on the left. The ball as played with intricate control to the right wing where Hudson-Odoi picked up the b all just i side the penalty area, took a touch to his left before pinging a daisy-cutter to Jordan Smith’s left post and the ball zipped over the line. With virtually their first attack, Forrest raced forward – Fikayo Tomori appeared to trip in-running Alexander Mighten. Referee Peter Bankes pointed to the spot. Var looked at the incident and decided that Mighten’s knee was offside and the penalty decision was revealed.
Nothing was going the visitors way – 12 minutes before the break, Hudson-Odoi left fly with a venomous left-footer. Smith could only parry the ball away – it went straight to Ross Barkley who volleyed home from close range to double the score for the Blues.
Michy Batshuayi could have made it three on the stroke of half-time, but he glanced his header from a clipped James pass wide of Smith’s goal.
Barkley rattled the Forest post with a header 10 minutes after the restart as the Blues looked to kill the game off.
Forest thought they had scored when Ryan Yates headed home on 65 minutes but he was adjusted by VAR to have had a heel offside..
Batshuayi made a hash of a wonderful cross by Hudson-Odoi and hacked the ball over the Forrest crossbar from eight yards out. The Belgium striker was unmarked and fluffed a great chance to try and impress head coach Frank Lampard that he deserves a run in the side. With finishing like that – it wont be happening anytime soon.
Mason Mount netted the fray for Mateo Kovacic. He was quickly followed by Tariq Lamptey for ineffectual Pedro.
The game petered out as neither side did enough threaten each other’s goal – the exception being a late strike by Hudson- Odoi which Smith was equal to.
Chelsea face Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday with a 3pm kick off.
Teams: Chelsea, Caballero, Christensen, Jorginho, Barkley, Pedro, Kovacic, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, James, Tomori, Emerson
Subs: Cumming, Rudiger, Willian, Giroud, Mount, Azpilicueta, Lamptey,
Forrest: Smith, Ribeiro, Figueiredo, Carvalho, Jenkinson, Esteves, Dawson, Adomah, Johnson, Mighten
Subs: Shelvey, Benalouane, Fornah, Sole, En-Neyah, Hefele, Gabriel
Referee: Peter Bankes