Chelsea smoothly advanced to the FA Cup’s fourth round with a commanding 4-0 triumph over Preston North End.
Despite deploying a strong lineup against their Championship opponents, Chelsea’s performance in the first 45 minutes was lackluster. Raheem Sterling’s shot and Cole Palmer’s scooped effort were unsuccessful in breaching Preston’s defenses, leaving Chelsea without an early breakthrough.
Preston continued to thwart Chelsea’s advances as the hour mark approached. However, the game’s dynamics drastically changed with a rapid burst of three goals in just 11 minutes, firmly establishing the hosts in control and sealing the match’s fate.
The pivotal moment occurred when Malo Gusto delivered an exquisite ball into the box, awakening Armando Broja, who had been relatively quiet on the field. Broja skillfully flicked a header into the far corner, initiating Chelsea’s goal spree.
Shortly thereafter, substitute Thiago Silva showcased his aerial prowess by emphatically heading home a corner, contributing a second goal to Chelsea’s tally. The onslaught persisted as Raheem Sterling curled a free-kick over the wall, eluding Preston’s goalkeeper, Freddie Woodman, securing the third goal for the Blues.
Chelsea’s dominance led to a fourth goal, initially ruled offside when Enzo Fernandez turned the ball in at the back post. Following an extended VAR review, the goal was awarded, determining that Fernandez had stayed onside. This conclusive decision allowed Chelsea to effortlessly progress into the next round of the competition.
Post-match, Raheem Sterling, England and Chelsea’s winger, was named the man of the match for his impressive performance, which included a stunning free-kick goal and providing the assist for Enzo Fernandez’s goal.