Tammy Abraham’s hat-trick helped Chelsea beat Luton Town 3-1 in the FA Cup fourth round to help ease the pressure on under-fire manager Frank Lampard.
Abraham had appeared to put the hosts in total control of the tie with two early goals, only for Jordan Clark’s strike on the half-hour mark, with the aid of another Kepa Arrizabalaga error, to give Luton hope of a shock at Stamford Bridge.
However, Abraham was on hand to ease any home nerves with a close-range finish 16 minutes from time and despite Timo Werner missing a late penalty, Chelsea still set up a fifth-round clash at Barnsley.
The home team headed into the tie in need of a morale-boosting display after losing 2-0 at Leicester in midweek, with Lampard fielding a strong-looking line-up against their Championship opponents.
And in snowy conditions in west London, Chelsea soon raced into a two-goal lead thanks to some opportunism from Abraham, albeit with controversy surrounding their 11th-minute opener as there were two balls on the pitch in the lead-up to the goal.
However, referee David Coote decided that had not affected Luton’s players as Hakim Ziyech’s quick throw appeared to catch the visitors napping, before Werner’s pull back from the right-hand byline was guided into the bottom corner of the net by Abraham.
The forward doubled his team’s lead six minutes later after some build-up play down the right involving the impressive Ziyech again and Reece James, whose cross caught Luton ‘keeper Simon Sluga hesitating, allowing Abraham to loop a header into the unguarded net.
Mason Mount captained Chelsea for the first time as Frank Lampard made seven changes. Billy Gilmour started in midfield as the Blues boss fielded a strong side as expected. Kepa Arrizabalaga was handed a rare start in goal, while Timo Werner partnered Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham in a front three.