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Zola happy with Chelsea’s ‘good effort’ in FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday

Gianfranco Zola was happy with Chelsea’s ‘good effort’ as they managed to break down Sheffield Wednesday to progress to the FA Cup fifth round.

Chelsea totally dominated proceedings at Stamford Bridge, ending the game with 79% possession. However, as has often been the case in recent weeks, they initially struggled to breakdown the resilient Championship side.

Sheffield Wednesday were awarded a first-half penalty, although VAR overturned Andre Marriner’s original decision, with Ethan Ampadu clearly getting to the ball first. However, less than three minutes later, Marriner was pointing to the spot again, awarding the hosts a penalty, which Willian duly converted to open the scoring.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – who has reportedly handed in a transfer request – scored just the second senior goal of his career before Willian made it three with his second of the night.

While Maurizio Sarri has been critical of some of his side’s performances in recent weeks, Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola said that was delighted with his side’s ‘good effort’ in what was a ‘difficult’ cup tie:

“It’s certainly a good result, we’re very happy. We know how difficult these cup ties can be. Everyone made a really good effort,” Zola told BBC Sport.

“We performed very well against Spurs and again today after the first few minutes.”

Chelsea gave a debut to Gonzalo Higuain after he completed his loan move from Juventus earlier this week. The Argentine scored 36 goals in 35 Serie A appearances while working under Maurizio Sarri at Napoli. Speaking about the Blues new number 9, Zola said that he was happy with his performance.

“We are pleased with Gonzalo Higuain’s performance, he was trying to find the space and get on the ball. It wasn’t easy as they had a lot of players round him.”

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