Tammy Abraham’s hat-trick fired Chelsea into the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup as the Blues secured a comfortable 3-1 victory.
Chelsea secured a welcome 3-1 victory against Luton Town in the FA Cup, in what could serve as a major confidence booster following a difficult period.
The Blues were the better side for the most part against Luton, especially in the first half. They created a flurry of chances early on in the game, providing very little respite for the Luton defenders. Frank Lampard’s men found the deserved breakthrough in the 11th minute when Tammy Abraham slotted home from close range.
The English international doubled his tally shortly after as Chelsea continued to pile on the pressure. A bit of casual defending and a complete howler from Kepa Arrizabalaga did allow Luton to pull one back around the half-hour mark, but the visitors failed to sustain that pressure for long periods of the game.
They were, however, more solid after the internal, though the pressure was still from immense from Chelsea. It needed an impressive passage of play from the hosts to find the breakthrough around the 70th minute that led to Abraham’s hat-trick, with the goal eventually sealing the win for the Blues.
The margin could have been extended had it not been for Timo Werner’s missed penalty late in the game. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Chelsea players following their fairly comfortable performance against Luton Town on Sunday.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6.5/10
Kepa Arrizabalaga faltered once again by failing to make a routine stop to deny Jordan Clark in the 30th minute. However, the Spanish goalkeeper did well to improve thereafter, notably making one very important save from range to prevent Harry Cornick scoring from close range. The save denied Luton the opportunity to make a second half comeback.
Reece James: 9/0
Reece James was one of the standout performers of this game, especially in the first half. He was a menace on the right flank, notably providing the forward ball that led to Abraham’s second goal. It was one of many useful passes that resulted in excellent scoring opportunities for Chelsea.
Reece James game by numbers vs. Luton:
90% pass accuracy
5 chances created (most)
5 crosses (=most)
3 take-ons (most)
3 interceptions (most)
2 aerial duels won
Impressive display from the 21-year-old. pic.twitter.com/tPPoMnIeAe
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 24, 2021
Andreas Christensen: 7.5/10
Andreas Christensen had no difficulties dealing with the Luton defenders. He kept his composure and barely looked troubled in the defensive department. This performance should boost his confidence going forward, though it remains unlikely that he will be used by Lampard during the second half of the campaign, despite the departure of Fikayo Tomori.
Kurt Zouma: 7.5/10
Kurt Zouma could have done a little better in closing down Clark for that Luton opportunity that led to their goal. Aside from that, the Frenchman fared well in defence, using his imposing presence at the back to good effect. His passing was top-notch as well.
Emerson Palmieri: 6/10
Emerson was by far the worst performer for Chelsea in this game. The left-back looked quite sloppy in possession, and though he did improve as the game progressed, the Italian international simply could not provide the same amount of threat as James on the opposite flank. It will be interesting to see whether the former AS Roma star ends up leaving Stamford Bridge this January.
Mason Mount: 7.5/10
It was a special game for Mason Mount, who was handed the captain’s armband in the absence of several key players including Thiago Silva. The English international repaid the manager’s faith with a stable performance in the middle of the park. He played a key role in instigating Chelsea’s approach play.
Billy Gilmour vs Luton Town pic.twitter.com/UM3xFpV8Mn
— Thiago 🐺 (@HMDComps) January 24, 2021
Billy Gilmour: 8/10
Starting ahead of Jorginho, it was an ideal game for Billy Gilmour to settle into the pace of the game following a long spell on the sidelines. The youngster was neat and tidy as usual, orchestrating the build-up with his technical brilliance. He also had a key role to play in the lead up to Abraham’s third goal by playing a delightful one-two with Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Hakim Ziyech: 9/10
Hakim Ziyech was a menace for the Luton defenders throughout the game. The former Ajax superstar provided a lot of service down the flanks, making it difficult for the opposition to breathe easy. He had a key part to play in the opener as well, and was rather unfortunate not to find the back of the net himself.
Timo Werner: 8/10
Timo Werner was deployed in a bizarre attacking midfield role, and oddly enough, it suited him quite well. The German was quite influential in the final third, notably assisting Abraham for the opener. His link-up play, in general, proved to be a bit too much for the Luton defenders to hand, although the forward should have scored the late penalty.
Christian Pulisic: 7.5/10
Christian Pulisic had an eventful game against Luton Town. The American international proved to be quite difficult to deal with and his link-up play was top-notch. However, he was a little wasteful in front of goal and should have at least netted one goal.
Tammy Abraham: 10/10
Tammy Abraham was undoubtedly the best player of this game, reflected by his stunning hat-trick. Always on the hunt to find the back of the net, the Englishman looked hungry and tenacious, which was coupled with a seemingly telepathic understanding with the likes of Pulisic, Ziyech and Werner.
Abraham’s hat-trick should indeed excite the Chelsea fans as they look forward to the upcoming Premier League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday.
Tammy Abraham has scored his second ever hat-trick for Chelsea.
His first at Stamford Bridge. 🎩 pic.twitter.com/oXiaQYaomW
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 24, 2021
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 8/10
It was surprising to see Hudson-Odoi fail to start over Pulisic, but he did come on for the American international during the final phase of the game. He did not take long to make an impact either, playing an excellent one-two with Gilmour to create the opportunity that led to Abraham’s hat-trick.
Kai Havertz: N/A
A late replacement for Ziyech. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Olivier Giroud: N/A
A late replacement for Giroud. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Mateo Kovacic: N/A
A late replacement for Mount. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.