News

Game of the Day: Luton Town vs Chelsea - Result, player ratings and what they said


The tale of the tape

A turbulent evening for Chelsea off the pitch looked as if it could continue on the pitch as they headed into the half-time break behind at Championship side Luton Town.

The hosts got off to a flying start, with a corner headed in after just 2 minutes by Reece Burke, and though Chelsea equalised through Saul Niguez's first goal for the club, the Blues fell behind once more 10 minutes from the break as Harry Cornick ran off the shoulder of Malang Sarr and slotted the ball past Kepa.

However, the second half was a different story, and Chelsea's dominance told as first Timo Werner and then Romelu Lukaku found the back of the net to turn the tie around and send the Pensioners into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, the draw for which takes place ahead of Boreham Wood's trip to Everton on Thursday evening.

It is a much-needed recovery from the Blues, who are looking to head back to Wembley more successfully in the FA Cup on the back of the Carabao Cup final, where they lost out on penalties to Liverpool.

Player ratings

Kepa Arrizabalaga- 5

Could do little about either goal in the first half. Struggled with his distribution against the Luton press and his kicking constantly found touch, putting the pressure back on the Blues.

Malang Sarr - 3

Was arguably at fault for both of the Luton goals, and looked well off the pace after impressive performances for the Blues in the past. Almost gave away a third with a terrible mistake late on too. An insight into a post-Andreas Christensen world, perhaps.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 6

Deployed as a central defender against the Championship side and was good with his driving runs forward. Provided a beautifully flighted pass to Timo Werner for Chelsea's second goal and looked a constant threat. However, looked suspect at the back as would be expected.

Antonio Rudiger - 6

The sole island of calm in Chelsea's defence, Rudiger remained true to form as he provided plenty of physicality to the Blues backline. Grew visibly frustrated with those in front of him as the game wore on and had his customary shot from 30 yards as he looked to break the deadlock. Perhaps symbolically handed the armband when Jorginho was replaced.

Kenedy - 4

Substituted on the hour, and did little to suggest that he will be seeing any significant game time in the Premier League any time soon.

Saul - 7

The only positive to come out of the first half from a Chelsea point of view. The Spaniard took his goal very well and threatened a second on several occasions.

Jorginho - 6

Kept the game moving without influencing it too much and was clearly bewildered when he was substituted, but allowed Loftus-Cheek to move into midfield and influence the game from there.

Callum Hudson-Odoi - 4

Was replaced by Harvey Vale after an hour after an underwhelming performance at wing-back. Appears to have regressed since he broke into the first team.

Mason Mount - 4

Following two big missed chances in the Carabao Cup final, Mason Mount looked well off the pace at Kenilworth Road.

One particular cross that landed on the roof of the away end will live long in the memory.

Timo Werner - 7

Quiet for much of the game and wasted a glorious opportunity minutes into the second half that would have levelled the tie. However, took his goal, and Chelsea's second equaliser, neatly and consistently ran the channels for the Blues, producing the assist for Lukaku's finish.

Romelu Lukaku - 6

Another quiet night for Chelsea's record signing, but he came up with the all-important winner as the Belgian slid the ball home after a great cross from Werner. He still seems at odds with Thomas Tuchel's system but that goal could fire some much-needed life back into Lukaku.

Subs:

Harvey Vale - 6

Looked bright when he came on and floated a tantalising cross just over the head of Timo Werner. Promising signs that he could be one for the future.

Christian Pulisic - 5

Changed the emphasis of Chelsea's attack when he came on but did little on the ball to suggest that he deserved to start.

Reece James - 5

Chelsea fans will be over the moon to see James back on the pitch, and while he was only given a couple of opportunities to show his abilities in his brief cameo this evening, the English stopper will be a welcome sight ahead of the Premier League run-in.

What they said

Chelsea boss Thomas Tucherl told BBC Sport:

'I like how we played, we didn't get frustrated and were patient and at the same time relentless to find the gaps and the decisive chances. We deserved to win, it was a good team performance, a very humble performance, I like it.'

'Every match we play is the most important and that is why they are on the pitch and it is good that they score.'

Read more:

Roman Abramovich pens open letter to Chelsea fans as he admits club will be sold

‘Worst defender of all time’ Chelsea fans single out one man for criticism in first half of Luton clash

 


Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



Related Content