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Tammy Abraham hat-trick helps Chelsea beat Luton Town to make FA Cup fifth round

Matt Law
·20-min read
tammy a - REUTERS
tammy a - REUTERS

For all the talk of Frank Lampard needing to get the best out of Chelsea’s new signings, the academy graduates again signaled their importance to pulling the west London side out of the slump that has threatened the job of their head coach.

Tammy Abraham netted a hat-trick, Mason Mount captained Chelsea for the first time, Billy Gilmour pulled the strings in midfield and Callum Hudson-Odoi made an impact from the substitutes’ bench.

And with Reece James also recovering from a difficult night at Leicester City, the future for Chelsea still looks bright even if the here and now has been less than inspiring over the past month.

An FA Cup run may well help to end the short-term pain as Chelsea booked a fifth-round date against another Championship club, Barnsley, and will already be thinking about going far in the competition they reached the final of last season.

Sunday’s scoreline would have been much more empathic had Timo Werner scored a late penalty, Christian Pulisic not squandered two wonderful chances and Kepa Arrizabalaga not gifted Luton Town their goal.

But while some of the expensive signings continue to toil, Chelsea’s young players stepped up for Lampard in his hour of need.

Mount was rewarded for his performances against Fulham and Leicester City by being handed the armband for the first time, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Jorginho on the bench, and Lampard was similarly rewarded for picking Abraham.

The 23-year-old is now Chelsea’s top scorer after netting a treble that came via a shot following Werner’s deflected pull back, a header from a James cross and a tap-in from a late Hudson-Odoi centre.

Chelsea’s third goal was the pick of the bunch, as Hudson-Odoi played a great one-two with Gilmour in the build-up, and the Scotsman, other than Abraham, was the home side’s stand-out performer.

Unlike Mateo Kovacic, who had too often looked sideways and backwards at Leicester, Gilmour always looked forwards and was a driving force for Lampard’s team from the middle of the park.

It was no wonder that Lampard played down any prospect of 19-year-old Gilmour leaving on loan in the final week of the transfer window.

“Billy was outstanding today,” said Lampard. “He was confident on the ball and was a big influence with his performance and personality. Looking at that today, for the short-term he won’t be going on loan. We will keep it open until the end of the month, but he is a Chelsea player.”

Abraham had missed a sitter from another Hudson-Odoi cross shortly before completing his hat-trick, but, unlike Werner, the 23-year-old looks full of confidence and happy to accept the pressure of Chelsea’s current situation.

Luton manager blasts referee for lack of respect
Luton manager blasts referee for lack of respect

“I am pleased for Tammy that he got his goals,” said Lampard. “I wasn’t nervous about picking a young team because they bring energy and desire. Mason being captain was another step in his progression.”

Werner, who shared striking responsibilities with Abraham, performed well in parts and won an 86th-minute penalty with his blistering speed, but his resulting spot kick that was saved by Luton goalkeeper Simon Sluga underlined the German’s problems.

Similarly, Pulisic, the star for Chelsea towards the end of last season, looks bereft of confidence in front of goal. He missed the chance to finish a wonderful move involving James and Werner by shooting weakly at Sluga. And in the second half, the United States international failed to find the net from close rage from a James cross.

James had seen his performance against Leicester in midweek heavily criticised, but responded well on Sunday. He was caught out once in the second half, allowing James Bree to break but Kepa made a good save from Harry Cornick.

That stop went some way to making up for Luton’s first-half goal that had got the visitors back into the game. Jordan Clark made a good connection with his first-time shot from Bree’s cross, but Kepa should never have allowed the ball to creep past his palm and into the net.

Lampard decided to concentrate on Kepa’s good save, rather than criticise his mistake, and was also grateful to the fans who paid for a banner to be erected in their absence that read ‘‘In Frank We Trust Then Now Forever’.

“I knew about the banner and the people who put it together and I am hugely appreciative,” said Lampard. “It’s a two-way thing. I am so thankful for their support and all I want to do is work hard and be successful for this club.”

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Kepa 6; James 7, Christensen 6, Zouma 6, Emerson 6; Mount 7 (Kovacic, 84, 6), Gilmour 8; Zieych 6 (Havertz, 77, 6), Werner 6, Pulisic 5 (Hudson-Odoi, 70, 7); Abraham 8 (Giroud, 77, 6). Subs not used: Caballero, Rudiger, Kovacic, Chilwell, Azpilicueta.

Luton Town (5-3-1-1): Sluga 8; Bree 6 (Lualua, 61, 6), Lockyer 6, Rea 5 (Potts, 46, 6), Bradley 6, Naismith 6 (Moncur, 75, 6); Clark 7, Dewsbury-Hall 5, Mpanzu 5; Tunnicliffe 5 (Berry, 61, 6), Cornick 5 (Collins 61, 6). Subs not used: Shea, Hylton, Lee, Nombe.

02:02 PM

FULL-TIME: Chelsea 3-1 Luton

Frank Lampard and Chelsea are through to the next round. They were given a decent match by Luton but their class showed and will face Barnsley in the fifth round.

02:01 PM

90 mins: Chelsea 3-1 Luton

Chelsea are back in action on Wednesday at home to Wolves and this match will have given them confidence. Luton have put up a good challenge but bar the period at 2-1 up the hosts have been able to keep the championship side at arm's length.

01:56 PM

That wonderful Chelsea goal

01:55 PM

85 mins: Chelsea 3-1 Luton

SAVED BY SLUGA!

Werner's barren run continues, he goes to Sluga's left and the Luton keeper saves well.

01:54 PM

84 mins: Chelsea 3-1 Luton

PENALTY FOR CHELSEA.

Kovacic, just on for Mount, plays in Werner who goes round the keeper and as he does that the Luton goalscorer Clark clips him from behind.

01:51 PM

81 mins: Chelsea 3-1 Luton

Corner for Luton on the right - LuaLua gets the ball and sends it forward but the Luton attack is outnumbered and Chelsea break. The ball ends up at the feet of Giroud who tries to dink it to the back post for Mount but Sluga comes out and collects.

01:47 PM

77 mins: Chelsea 3-1 Luton

Hard to see how Luton get back into this now - they've been great this match and have had their chances but since Cornick had that chance at 2-1 down it's been all Chelsea and they've regained the two-goal advantage.

01:45 PM

76 mins: Chelsea 3-1 Luton

Ziyech and Abraham are off for Giroud and Havertz

01:42 PM

GOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL!!! Chelsea 3-1 Luton

Wonderful goal for Abraham...a hat-trick for the Chelsea striker.

Hudson-Odoi has looked good since he's come on and he drives at the defence playing a one-two with Gilmour before passing it across the six-yard box allowing Abraham to tap it into the back of the net from all of two yards.

01:41 PM

71 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Hudson-Odoi - just one for Pulisic - gets to the lefthand byline and dinks a cross for Abraham who heads wide.

01:39 PM

69 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Werner darts into the box and falls under a challenge from Mpanzu but it's no penalty...woudl have been very hards had that been given.

01:36 PM

That Cornick chance

Kepa saves from Harry Cornick  - GETTY IMAGES
Kepa saves from Harry Cornick - GETTY IMAGES

01:34 PM

66 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Luton seeing more of the ball at the moment and growing in confidence.

01:32 PM

63 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Luton corner comes to Lockyer whose attempt goes over - it wouldn't have been given, though, as a team-mate was offside.

01:31 PM

61 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Three changes for Luton Berry, Collins, LuaLua are on for Tunnicliffe, Cornick, Bree

01:30 PM

60 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Potts gets the better of James on the left, he comes in off the flank playing in Mpanzu who passes first time to Cornick, he takes a touch before firing at goal, Kepa saves well. What a chance - if you were to find fault with Cornick it was that his shot was a decent height for the keeper...

01:28 PM

58 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Chelsea dominating, probing away and Luton doing whatever they can to clear their lines. You sense a goal is coming.

01:27 PM

56 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Corner for the hosts - Mount takes it on the right, it goes to the back of the box, Werner collects, it goes back in the box before Ziyech fires in a shot that is well blocked.

01:24 PM

53 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Luton haven't seen much of the ball this half - but they're still very much in this tie. They have a throw on on the left, but lose the ball and Chelsea mount an attack. Ziyech - best player on the pitch - occupies two Luton defenders before pulling the ball back towards the D and Mount hits it first time but the shot goes over the bar.

01:22 PM

50 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Chelsea have won 52 of their past 53 cup matches against teams from a lower division...

Ziyech is lookig so lively he gets the ball near the byline on the lefthand side and fizzes in a ball right across the six-yard box which no one gets on the end of. It's not the first time that has happened this match.

01:18 PM

48 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Great save by Sluga. Ziyech and James work well together on the right, James plays a great early ball in which Pulisic hits first time and the Luton keeper saves well with his feet.

01:16 PM

47 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

The snow is falling again in west London. Slow start from both sides so far

01:14 PM

45 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Dan Potts is on for Rea for the Championship side.

01:13 PM

45 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

The second half is eventually under way, that was a 19.5 min break. It may be cold and we all love a bit of heat but that was a bit much.

Apparently the clock in the health club is broken...hence the delay...ok...

01:11 PM

Still half-time: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

The Luton players are again taking an age to emerge from their changing room in the health club part of Stamford Bridge...

01:08 PM

The most expensive goalkeeper in the world

12:55 PM

Luton's goal

12:54 PM

HALF-TIME: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Positives for Chelsea include the bright start and the quick two-goal start. But Kepa's mistake gave Luton a foothold into the game and as the half has gone on they have grown in belief.

Chelsea's opener was controversial as at one stage there were two balls on the pitch, but the referee didn't see it and some of the Luton players were fuming. I still think they weren't alert enough, however, but it's certainly one to debate.

12:53 PM

47 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Luton free-kick in the final third on the left. Last chance in the half to get another goal - the ball comes in and Cornick gets a glancing header on target but Kepa collects.

12:51 PM

45 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Chelsea are passing the ball well, probing away but are struggling to create decent chances. Luton will be happy with the match so far having been 2-0 down early on.

12:49 PM

41 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

From the set-piece Mount goes this way and that before cutting outside and whipping in a great ball but no one gambles and it comes to nothing.

12:48 PM

40 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Luton defending in numbers and they crowd out Abraham. The ball comes out to the left before falling to Abraham and Ziyech but neither can get a shot in. The hosts are putting together a lot of passes, Luton are defending deep and Chelsea cannot create a clearcut chance, it goes for a corner. Chelsea probing away without luck at the moment.

12:44 PM

37 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Chelsea have a corner on the left, it's comfortably dealt with by the visitors' backline.

12:42 PM

35 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Luton are looking more comfortable with a back four having pushed an extra man into midfield, they're seeing more of the ball and are spending more time in Chelsea's half.

Reece James gets forward and plays the ball across the box but Abraham cannot get on the end of it.

12:40 PM

32 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Pulisic, who is looking lively, again receives the ball on the right, he cuts inside and has a shot that goes just over.

12:37 PM

30 mins: Chelsea 2-1 Luton

Luton have changed their shape and are more positive in possession. They worked the ball to the right before crossing it in to Clark who hit it first time and kept the shot down. BUT Kepa should have done better with that...

12:35 PM

GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL!!! Chelsea 2-1 Luton

With their first attack of the match the visitors score. Jordan Clark with the goal.

12:34 PM

26 mins: Chelsea 2-0 Luton

All 11 Luton players are in their own half. But they cannot prevent Pulisic getting the ball in acres of space and having a shot without so much as a challenge - Sluga saves with his feet.

12:31 PM

24 mins: Chelsea 2-0 Luton

Nathan Jones has changed Luton from a back five to a back four. A stop in play as Zouma is being looked at - he fell badly but is going to try and run whatever damage he has off.

12:28 PM

Top-class Tammy

12:25 PM

18 mins: Chelsea 2-0 Luton

Emerson bundles Dewsbury-Hall and the ball into touch and Luton have their first corner. It's an easy one for Kepa to deal with. Frank Lampard will be very happy with what he's seeing.

12:23 PM

17 mins: Chelsea 2-0 Luton

Luton have only scored six goals on the road this season - they need to find two goals here just to take the match to extra-time...

12:22 PM

GOOOOAAAAAALLLL!!! Chelsea 2-0 Luton

The hosts are dominated possession and Luton are very much on the back foot. Pulisic is looking busy he works the ball right, the ball ends at the feet of James who crosses for Abraham who heads into the net...Two goals in the space of five minutes for Chelsea.

12:16 PM

GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!! Chelsea 1-0 Luton

Abraham scores. It's a quick throw in, Ziyech take it before Luton were ready, he finds Werner who drives into the box, pulls it back for Abraham who fires low into the corner.

Just the start the hosts wanted - nerves well and truly settled.

12:15 PM

8 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Luton

Ziyech sees the run of Abraham and he's in one on one with Sluga but the Luton keeper is alert and comes off his line to intercept the pass.

Mount then finds the ball and has a shot from distance and it goes for the first corner of the match. From the set piece Zouma heads well over.

12:13 PM

6 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Luton

Good play down the left from Luton and Naismith - making his debut - gets in a cross that Kepa deals with easily.

12:11 PM

5 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Luton

Luton are happy to let Chelsea have the ball, they're not going expose themselves and make the hosts work for any chances they get.

Emerson plays a ball into the box and it's an easy take for the Luton keeper Sluga.

This is just the 'easy' opening the visitors would have wanted.

12:09 PM

3 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Luton

Luton haven't played at Stamford Bridge since 1991, there in their traditional colours of white and orange.

12:06 PM

1 min: Chelsea 0-0 Luton

We under way, this will possibly be a tougher match than Chelsea would want. Luton are doing well in the Championship - they're 13th - and will fancy there chances of going toe-to-toe with Lampard and co.

12:02 PM

Fashionably late

The Chelsea players are in the tunnel but there's no sign of the Luton side from their changing room (in the health club, apparently. Staff are still on the pitch trying to shovel the snow off the pitch...

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is on BBC 1 and is saying players should shoot at every opportunity - "goalkeepers hate snow"...

11:56 AM

Frank Lampard speaks...

On the FA Cup and Luton Town…

“It’s a completion I always give a lot to. I know not to go into games lightly, Luton have good players, a good manager and we have to be at our best.”

On the need to get a result…

“We need to find form individually and as a team. But every game is an opportunity for players to come in and do well.”

11:53 AM

Luton Town's manager Nathan Jones speaks...

“We are excited, like to test ourselves and today is a big test. They are a fantastic team and it’s about testing the players. We’re asking them to be bold and brave and if we do that we could do something in the game. But it’s a monumental task.”

11:51 AM

It's Chilly Gilmour...

One from the Thomas Müller school of humour...

11:49 AM

Let it snow, let it snow...

It's snowing in the urban heat island that is London...who doesn't love snow? It makes everything pretty and calm...well, it does for me, at least. Anyway, here are a few snowy Stamford Bridge pics from Chelsea's Twitter feed.

Stamford Bridge
Stamford Bridge

11:45 AM

Luton Town have...

...made four changes from the team that lost to Brentford in their last Championship match.

Ryan Tunnicliffe, Jordan Clark, Kal Naismith and Glen Rea come in to the starting XI, Naismith for him debut. Top-scorer James Collins is on the bench.

11:42 AM

I give you Luton

11:41 AM

Changes, changes - Kepa in goal, Werner up front

So seven changes from the side that lost 2-0 at Leicester.

Mason Mount take the captain's armband, in comes Kepa (rememebr him?!) in goal with Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christiansen and Emerson in defence. Billy Gilmour is in midfield, with Hatem Ziyech and Timo Werner starting up front.

11:38 AM

Here be Chelsea

11:37 AM

Some pre-match reading

While we're waiting for team news and kick-off here's a brilliant interview with Luton and Chelsea legend Mark Stein. He talks with Matt Law about his family's apartheid fight, Cup heroics with Chelsea and Luton - and why taking a knee has lost its impact.

11:28 AM

Frank Lampard the fighter

Frank Lampard the Chelsea legend, Frank Lampard the all-time leading Chelsea scorer, Frank Lampard one of the greatest ever Chelsea players, Frank Lampard the man fighting for his job as Chelsea boss.

It was only a few weeks ago (December 5, to be precise) when the London club were sitting on top of the Premier League and Lampard the was seemingly on his way to being Frank Lampard the Chelsea coaching legend.

But fast forward six weeks and that has all changed. The west London side have lost five times in eight League games since their 3-1 win over Leeds took them to the Premier League summit and, such is modern-day football, people are now openingly questioning Lampard’s position as manager.

Lampard insists Chelsea can fight their way out of current malaise, starting today with a fourth round FA Cup tie at home to Luton. It marks the start of a crucial three-game spell, with successive home Premier League games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley to follow.

Come through unscathed and Lampard will likely survive, but any unexpected defeat could prove fatal following the side’s fallow festive run.

“Fight is an important word in football, so there’s no doubt we have to put some things to one side now,” said Lampard. “It’s not going to be 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 that will win us the games we need to win in the short term, it’ll be the passion and the desire, and the togetherness of the team.”

“I’m a fighter first and foremost,” said Lampard. “It’s how I managed to make a career out of the game as a player. When I packed up, I could have easily stayed in the media or come out of football altogether.

“I didn’t need to get back in. I got back in with a desire to be successful. I didn’t have blinkers on. I knew that there will be tough times and things that you can’t control like you did as a player.”

So today it’s Frank Lampard the fighter and he and his side will have to avoid the potential banana skin of Luton to ensure Frank Lampard the legend can come to the fore once again.