Sunday 25 March 2018

WATCH: Rabona cross, a nutmeg and a touch to die for - Wes Hoolahan was at his brilliant best against Chelsea

Chelsea's Pedro fouls Norwich City's Wesley Hoolahan resulting in him receiving his second yellow card and being sent off
Chelsea's Pedro fouls Norwich City's Wesley Hoolahan resulting in him receiving his second yellow card and being sent off

He only entered the Stamford Park pitch eight minutes from normal time last night, but Ireland's Wes Hoolahan left fans mesmerised with a sequence of sublime skills.

Norwich brought the Premier League champions all the way in the FA Cup, drawing 1-1 after extra time before going down 5-3 on penalties.

It was a night of controversy at the Bridge as three Chelsea players - Pedro, Willian and Alvaro Morata - were all booked for simulation, with Pedro and Morata subsequently sent off.

While Pedro was guilty of an obvious dive in the second half, and could have no complaints about his subsequent red for bringing down Wes Hoolahan, the other decisions were not so clear cut.

But is was Hoolahan who was at the centre of much of the talk as he showed moments of magic.

Chelsea see off Norwich in FA Cup after VAR controversy, two red cards and a penalty shootout

Video assistant referee controversy erupted as Chelsea beat Norwich on penalties in their FA Cup third-round replay.

In extra-time at Stamford Bridge, and with the teams tied at 1-1, Blues winger Willian appeared to be tripped in the box by City defender Timm Klose.

Referee Graham Scott booked the Brazilian for diving but replays showed there was clearly contact - yet no penalty was awarded.

Alan Shearer branded the VAR system "a shambles" while his fellow BBC pundits agreed it should have been a spot-kick.

Phil Neville said: "Why have it (VAR) if he hasn't referred it? Use it Graham Scott, to get decisions like that right. If you don't use it, get rid of it."

Jermaine Jenas added: "That's a definite penalty. There's definitely contact."

Chelsea's frustration boiled over in the second period of extra time with Pedro and Alvaro Morata sent off, both after being booked for diving.

After a goalless first half, in which both sides rattled the crossbar, Michy Batshuayi marked his 50th Chelsea appearance with his first goal since October.

Nine minutes after the break Kenedy sent in a low cross from the right and the Belgian striker arrived at the near post to smash the ball into the roof of the net.

But deep into stoppage time Klose whipped in a cross and Jamal Lewis cushioned a fine header into the back of the net.

Extra time could not separate the sides but Eden Hazard hit the winning spot-kick as Chelsea won the shoot-out 5-3 to book a visit from Newcastle in the next round.

Sky Bet League One leaders Wigan stunned top-flight Bournemouth with a thumping 3-0 win.

The Latics secured a fourth-round home tie against West Ham thanks to goals from Sam Morsy, Dan Burn and Callum Elder.

Both sides made changes for the replay but Bournemouth's fans were left unimpressed by their team's efforts.

Morsy tucked in a rebound from 12 yards to give the hosts the lead at half-time, and Burn and Elder struck within three second-half minutes to complete the Cherries' humiliation.

Jordan Ayew scored a goal reminiscent of Ricky Villa for Tottenham in the 1981 final replay as Swansea beat Wolves 2-1.

Ayew burst into the area, cutting one way and the other as he evaded six challenges before slotting past keeper Will Norris.

Diogo Jota equalised for Championship leaders Wolves but three minutes later Wilfried Bony won it for the Swans, who head to Notts County in round four.

Online Editors

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