Chelsea and Norwich go the distance before Blues squeeze through on penalties
Eden Hazard’s spot-kick fired the Blues into the next round.
Chaotic Chelsea ended a five-hour scoring drought before advancing in the FA Cup with a 5-3 penalty shootout win over Norwich.
The Premier League champions thought they had won for the first time in 2018 as Michy Batshuayi was on target in Wednesday night’s FA Cup third-round replay at Stamford Bridge.
But Jamal Lewis headed in Timm Klose’s cross in the fourth minute of stoppage time for 1-1 and force extra time, when Pedro and Alvaro Morata were sent off.
Pedro, earlier booked for diving, was sent off for a second bookable offence.
And Morata also saw red, receiving a yellow card for diving and an immediate second yellow for his vociferous complaints, which was followed by a pitch invader furious at referee Graham Scott’s handling of the game.
But the Blues escaped to advance to a fourth-round tie with Newcastle as Willy Caballero saved from Nelson Oliveira and Eden Hazard ensured Chelsea scored all five of their spot-kicks.
Norwich were excellent, frustrating their hosts and goalkeeper Angus Gunn performed brilliantly.
Chelsea became increasingly desperate, repeatedly calling for the intervention of video assistant referee Mike Jones.
Willian thought he had been fouled by Klose for a penalty early in the first period of extra-time, but Scott ruled otherwise and there was confusion over whether he consulted VAR.
Soon after Pedro was dismissed, Morata followed after surging down the left of the Norwich area.
Pedro and Morata will both be suspended for Saturday’s league trip to Brighton and there could be further repercussions from a game which was often ridiculous, but rarely featured the sublime.
Oh GOOD LORD. Ref and VAR have failed to spot at least 1 very clear & a probable second penalty for Chelsea. Morata sent off for diving too. Arsène would be thrilled with the recent performances of Mike Dean compared to this... 😂— Chris Dixon (@chrismd10) January 17, 2018
Chelsea were undefeated in 10 games prior to the match, but life at Stamford Bridge can unravel very quickly, particularly after three straight goalless draws for the first time in the Blues’ 112-year history.
This was an important contest for head coach Antonio Conte, who rotated his options as promised, but faced now familiar problems in a match delayed by 15 minutes due to public transport problems.
Gunn saved Danny Drinkwater’s thunderous effort on to the bar. That shot came after an unwanted landmark for Chelsea – 300 minutes since their most recent goal, at Arsenal on January 4.
Norwich also struck the frame of the goal, after Batshuayi’s wayward backpass went to Nelson Oliveira and his shot was saved by Caballero.
West Ham boss David Moyes was here, with speculation of a move for Batshuayi. Hammers striker Andy Carroll has also been linked with Chelsea.
Batshuayi did little to impress, often relinquishing possession.
The Belgian striker found his touch to convert Kenedy’s cross at the near post and end Chelsea’s 331-minute barren streak. It was his 17th goal on his 50th Chelsea appearance.
Norwich would not be beaten. Josh Murphy hit the post and Caballero denied James Maddison.
Kenedy appeared to swing an arm at Oliveira on Chelsea’s left early in the second half. His gloved hand did not connect and Kenedy went unpunished, but plenty of controversy followed.
Pedro was booked for diving after trying to round Gunn and Chelsea were made to pay for spurning further chances when Klose crossed and Lewis headed in.
Chelsea were desperate for a break. Willian wanted a penalty for a challenge by Klose, but Scott said no.
HAZARD SCORES! THE BLUES GO THROUGH!— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 17, 2018
Gunn saved from Willian and substitute Morata, who appealed in vain for handball against Klose.
Morata headed weakly at Gunn before Pedro fouled Wes Hoolahan and saw red. Morata soon followed.
Klose headed at Caballero, who saved Norwich’s first spot kick to put Chelsea in the ascendancy as the Blues advanced.