Chelsea out a good fight to survive a scare against Championship side Luton Town to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals. The Blues came from behind to beat the Championship side 3-2, before the kick-off the owner of Chelsea Roman Abramovich was said to have made a decision to sell the club which many felt the statement will weaken the players.
Chelsea Came from Behind Twice to Win Luton
Abramovich made the announcement an hour before kick-off after growing speculation he would put Chelsea up for sale following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Chelsea’s players were unaware of the developments before Abramovich made them public in his statement. The home team further surprised them as Reece Burke opened the scoring for the Hatters with a fine header following a corner after only two minutes.
Luton lost goalkeeper Jed Steer to an ankle injury after only 14 minutes, and Chelsea was level before his replacement Harry Isted had been on the field that long with Saul Niguez steering home a cool finish to record his first goal for the English Premier League side. Harry Cornick raced clear to restore Luton’s lead before half-time but Chelsea turned up the pressure after the break to prevail despite an unconvincing performance.
Timo Werner finished coolly after collecting Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s long pass in the 68th minute, then crossed for Romelu Lukaku to slide in and put Chelsea ahead for the first time 10 minutes later. Confirmation Abramovich was leaving Chelsea was the talk of Kenilworth Road before, during, and after a highly eventful FA Cup tie.
Manager Thomas Tuchel had rung the changes after defeating on penalties by Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday – even giving Kenedy his first start for the club in 1,505 days. And it showed as they struggled for rhythm, even after Saul’s equalizer – falling behind once more before Werner and Lukaku saw them through.
The German said the goals should be a confidence boost for both strikers given their struggles to establish themselves talking about Lukaku and Werner. He also said the night was all about the plots and sub-plots surrounding Abramovich’s departure, whenever that will be, and the mood of the players at the final whistle was one of relief rather than celebration.