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FA Cup: Chelsea win it in extra time to move to the 5th round

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FA Cup: Chelsea win it in extra time to move to the 5th round

Chelsea needed extra-time heroics from Kepa Arrizabalaga to knock League One club Plymouth out of the FA Cup.

The 6,000 traveling Plymouth fans were thrilled to an early goal in the blazing West London Saturday sun as Macaulay Gillesphey escaped Romelu Lukaku’s tagging to head the League One side in ahead.

The goal came only eight minutes into a game in which the hosts had taken control, and Mateo Kovacic then struck the crossbar.

Plymouth took heart from the goal, but Chelsea quickly asserted themselves, with Callum Hudson-Odoi headed against the bar and Kovacic again hitting the wall with a rasping shot.

Cesar Azpilicueta equalized with a clever backheel after 40 minutes, dashing into the area to meet a low cross.

Chelsea sustained pressure in the second half without manager Thomas Tuchel but struggled to make Michael Cooper work in the Plymouth goal. Lukaku was provided with a gaping goal by Hakim Ziyech, but the Belgian was a yard behind the cross.

Substitute Ryan Hardie came close to scoring before Mason Mount forced Cooper into a brilliant reaction save. The valiant defense was more than sufficient to earn a further 30 minutes to resolve the tie.

Chelsea broke the deadlock in stoppage time of the first period, Marcos Alonso capitalizing on a lovely move to keep the Blues in the tournament and provide some much-needed respite.

And then there was still time for additional drama in the 117th minute when Malang Sarr knocked the ball away and bundled over Ryan Hardie in the box. The striker took it himself and watched Kepa Arrizabalaga stop a feeble attempt.

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