Chelsea Survive Scare to Beat League One Side Plymouth in Fa Cup Fourth Round

Chelsea Survive Scare to Beat League One Side Plymouth in Fa Cup Fourth Round

Rene Otinga
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:55 PM
  • Chelsea survived a scare from Plymouth Argyle as they squeezed through to the FA Cup last 16 after a 2-1 win over the League One side
  • The Blues initially went behind as Plymouth took the lead through Macaulay Gillesphey in the first half
  • But Ceasar Azpilicueta equalized before halftime, and Marcos Alonso put his side into the lead in first half of extra time

Plymouth, for all their impressive work rate, had the chance to equalise from the penalty spot but Kepa Arrizabalaga was the Chelsea hero after he saved Ryan Hardie’s penalty.

Chelsea needed extra time to advance to the last 16 of the FA Cup as they beat League One side, Plymouth Argyle, in a highly-engaging game on Saturday, February 5.

Marcos Alonso
Marcos Alonso scored the decisive goal in extra time to give Chelsea victory in the FA Cup fourth round. Photo by Bryn Lennon.
Source: Getty Images

Plymouth's Ryan Hardie missed a penalty deep in the second half of extra time as Chelsea claimed a 2-1 win on the day in match that was not straightforward at all for the European Champions.

The Blues had to come from behind to secure the victory as Plymouth, who are seventh in League One, took a shock lead from Macaulay Gillesphey's early header against the run of play.

Chelsea however replied before half time through Ceasar Azpilicueta, who saw his delightful flick find the back of the net.

In the absence of Thomas Tuchel, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, Chelsea created numerous chances under the watch of assistant Arno Michels but were at times guilty of being wasteful in front of goal.

With no goals in the second half, the game was forced into extra time, and Marcos Alonso sent a huge wave of relief across Stamford Bridge as he slotted home from a cutback to make it 2-1.

As the game was meandering towards the end, Chelsea defender Malang Sarr had a horror moment as he cheaply gave the ball away before going in with a panic challenge on Ryan Hardie, and the referee instantly pointed to the penalty spot.

With his team’s hopes resting on him, Hardie hit a tame penalty which was expertly saved by Kepa Arizabalaga to his left.

In the end, Chelsea were relieved not to have been subjected to an FA Cup upset, especially since they had a massive 41 shots and 20 corners in 120 minutes.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and