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Alvaro Morata Brace Powers Chelsea Past Nottingham Forest in 2019 FA Cup

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2019

Chelsea's Spanish striker Alvaro Morata (L) misses a chance to score past Nottingham Forest's English goalkeeper Luke Steele (R) during the English FA Cup third round football match between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge in London on January 5, 2019. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Chelsea defeated Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday, with the Blues prevailing 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Eden Hazard was initially rested and started on the bench, but Chelsea called the superstar into action as they reviewed their tactics due to an injury for Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Alvaro Morata was the main beneficiary as he twice found the net in the second half, and a slow start by the hosts was soon forgotten.

Callum Hudson-Odoi started for Chelsea, and the teenager was impressive as he assisted both goals.

                      

Chelsea Have No Creativity When Eden Hazard Is Out

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Eden Hazard of Chelsea is challenged by Tendayi Darikwa of Nottingham Forest and Jack Colback of Nottingham Forest during the FA Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on January 5, 20
Clive Rose/Getty Images

The home side were devoid of ideas before Hazard entered the fray just before half-time.

Loftus-Cheek was injured three minutes before the interval, forcing Maurizio Sarri to make a premature change. Hazard was summoned, with Chelsea's forward line struggling against an inferior opponent.

The second half was more favourable for the Premier League side, and home supporters were clearly more relaxed as their side found the opener.

Hazard and Hudson-Odoi quickly clicked, and the prodigious 18-year-old set up Morata for a goal four minutes after the restart.

It was an important moment for both Hudson-Odoi and Morata, with the pair desperate to prove themselves under their latest coach.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Bayern Munich have reportedly been linked with a swoop for the young Englishman, per the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel, and Morata has persistently lacked authority as the No. 9.

Sarri will continue to play Hazard at the point of the attack in the weeks ahead, but Morata's brace could ease fears about his form.

The Spain international missed a sitter between his two goals, and he appeared dejected as he found the net—failing to celebrate his effort.

Chelsea have to find a player who can support Hazard in the second half of the season, and a new striker appears an essential purchase.

Hudson-Odoi could provide part of the answer, but Sarri will need to convince the youngster his future remains in the capital.

The Blues will not scoop silverware unless they can add firepower, but the holders completed a professional job against a mediocre Forest team.

                                     

Chelsea Must Sell Washed-Up Cesc Fabregas In January

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea has a penalty saved during the FA Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on January 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Imag
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Nostalgia was in the air as Fabregas made a rare start at the Bridge, with the 31-year-old reportedly on the brink of a departure from west London.

Monaco manager Thierry Henry is interested in his former Arsenal team-mate, per Sky Sports, and Fabregas' lack of playing time at Chelsea could see him tempted to leave.

Fabregas appeared in line for a farewell goal in the first half, but the midfielder missed from the penalty spot after Loftus-Cheek was fouled.

It was a sad moment for the decorated former Gunner, but his run up to the spot and stutter was unconvincing.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea acknowledges the fans as he leaves the pitch to be subbed during the FA Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on January 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.  (
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Fabregas lacked his usual influence, and he appeared like an individual who needs a fresh challenge after four years at the Bridge.

Hudson-Odoi was excellent, and the Blues should find a place in their starting XI for the attacking prodigy.

The Daily Telegraph's Matt Law said the young winger should bide his time with his current club before the game:

Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT

Hudson-Odoi is 18 and has made 5 competitive appearances for Chelsea this season. Oliver Skipp is 18 and has made 6 competitive appearances for Tottenham this season. I'd say they are both getting good opportunities for their age right now. No need for Hudson-Odoi to be in a rush

Fabregas' tenure at Chelsea is over, but he has been a formidable talent during his spells in English football.

                                                           

What's Next

Chelsea feature against Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of the semi-final of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. Forest travel to Reading in the EFL Championship on Saturday, January 12.

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