Chelsea secured a 2-0 win over Scunthorpe United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon to secure their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Guus Hiddink opted to select a strong starting lineup with many of the club’s top stars on show, but it was substitute Reuben Loftus-Cheek who produced the moment of the game as he scored his first senior goal for the Blues.
The visitors produced a stubborn defensive display and threatened at times on the counter attack, but their Premier League rivals had enough quality to see them off.
While Hiddink may well have received some criticism for not starting the younger players in his squad to give them an opportunity to gain experience, the senior individuals were tested by their opposition at various times of the game.
However, Diego Costa continued his resurgence in recent weeks as he scored after just 13 minutes to break Scunthorpe’s resolve and force the League One side to attack, which in turn left them vulnerable at the back.
Nevertheless, they were able to remain competitive right until the end with Jordan Clarke striking the crossbar late on, while Kevin van Veen will have felt aggrieved to have seen his second-half penalty shout fall on deaf ears.
BT Sport panelist and former referee Howard Webb insisted that it should have been awarded with the benefit of replays, and with the score at 1-0 at the time, it could have been an entirely different story had Craig Pawson seen it.
Chelsea player ratings: Begovic 6; Ivanovic 6, Zouma 7, Cahill 6, Azpilicueta 6; Fabregas 6, Oscar 6, Ramires 6, Willian 6, Pedro 6; Diego Costa 7.
Substitutes: Loftus-Cheek 7, Kenedy 6, Traore 6.