Wolves 0-2 Chelsea: Blues keep domestic double dreams alive by reaching FA Cup quarter-finals
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 19/02/17 7:31am
Chelsea maintained their hopes of achieving a domestic double by beating Wolves 2-0 in the FA Cup fifth round.
The Premier League leaders progressed to the quarter-finals courtesy of second-half goals from Pedro and Diego Costa.
Chelsea, who have won the cup four times in the last 10 seasons, had to defend for long periods but avoided the same fate that Premier League teams Burnley and Leicester suffered earlier in the day at the hands of lower league opposition.
However, things could have been different had former Chelsea man George Saville not smashed a presentable chance for Wolves, who had already knocked out Stoke and Liverpool, against the post with five minutes gone.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte made seven changes to his Premier League table toppers that drew 1-1 with Burnley last weekend. John Terry made his first appearance since the FA Cup fourth-round win over Brentford as only Victor Moses, Eden Hazard, Costa and Pedro kept their places.
Wolves, who made five changes, started like a team that believed another upset was on the cards.
Chelsea looked wobbly at dealing with the direct approach and Saville crashed an effort from 12 yards that rebounded back off the post.
That shook Chelsea into life as the back three of Terry, Nathan Ake and Kurt Zouma dealt well with a barrage of crosses - 19 in the first-half - that were being hauled into the box by the Wolves wide men.
Costa was being well marshalled by Wolves skipper Danny Batth but did wriggle clear of his clutches on 12 minutes and was denied by Carl Ikeme.
It was hard to tell which team was eight points clear at the top of the Premier League - until midway through the second-half when Cesc Fabregas and Willian started to dominate the ball.
Willian threaded a smart ball through to Costa on 62 minutes but he could only fire into the side-netting when it looked easier to score.
Wolves started to drop a little deeper and Chelsea did what champions do on 65 minutes and scored when they were on top.
It was Willian again at the heart of the move as his cross towards the back post found an unmarked Pedro, who headed home from close range to keep up his record of scoring in every FA Cup round this season.
That goal knocked the stuffing out of Wolves, who were vulnerable to the Chelsea counter attack.
Fabregas should have made it 2-0 on 86 minutes but his close-range effort was deflected behind by Conor Coady.
Costa showed Fabregas how it should be done three minutes later when latching onto a loose ball inside the area and firing a low effort into the far corner.
It was clinical stuff from the Premier League leaders, who resume their league campaign against Swansea City next Saturday.