Birthday girl Mason Mount blew out the candles on Morecambe’s FA Cup dreams.
Chelsea avoided this particular banana peel with relative ease, although up to second place from Timo Werner you could feel that the League Two side still felt there was perhaps something more out there.
These occasions are often riddled with concerns for clubs like Chelsea. Not this time, as the controversial Blues emerged unscathed from this third-round tie.
Mason Mount celebrated its 22nd birthday in the best of style with a tremendous long-term effort to give his party the edge
Chelsea made light work of their League Two opponents on Sunday to advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup
Summer signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz hit the net to end long painful target droughts in front of goal
It was a long-range effort by Mount that gave Frank Lampard’s side the lead against Morecambe after 18 minutes
FACTS BOX TITLE
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa 6; Azpilicueta 7, Rudiger 7, Zouma 7 (Tomori 79), Emerson 6.5; Mount 7 (Abraham 74), Gilmour 7.5, Havertz 7; Ziyech 8 (Pulisic 67.6), Werner 6.5 (Giroud 67.6), Hudson-Odoi 7.5 (Anjorin 79).
Subs: Caballero, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell
Manager: Lampard: 7.5
Goals: Mount 18, Werner 45, Hudson-Odoi 49, Havertz 85
Morecambe (4-2-3-1): Halstead 6; Cooney 6 (Mellor 62, 6), Knight-Percival 6, Davis 6, Hendrie 6.5 (Gibson 62, 6); Wildig 6.5, Songo’o 6.5; 6 killed (O’Sullivan 62), Phillips 6.5, Gomes 6 (Lyons 74); Stockton 6 (McAlinden 85)
Subs: Turner, Diagouraga, Kenyon, Leitch-Smith
Manager: Adams: 6.5
Referee: Darren England 6
Mount, on his 22nd birthday, got the ball rolling – before Werner struck right before half time to kill Morecambe’s hopes.
For the German attacker, he hopes the goal means more than just a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Werner has struggled to adapt to English football since his £ 47m arrival from Red Bull Leipzig in the summer.
No more goals for his club since a 4-1 win over Sheffield United on November 7 casts doubt.
Yesterday’s target will, of course, do little to calm the skepticism. But Werner hopes it heralds a diversion in the right direction.
So did Frank Lampard, whose team returned to winning ways after a three-game streak without a win – a streak that left the Chelsea manager answering questions about his job security.
Of course, this win will be inconclusive as to whether the Blues hierarchy believes Lampard is the man who will lead the club forward in the long run.
However, the defeat and subsequent days of public humiliation could have been a blow that Lampard would have struggled to recover.
This danger did not exist here, however, as Chelsea relentlessly brushed aside their less glamorous opponents.
That’s not to say Morecambe was without their moments; if Kepa Arrizabalaga, who made his first domestic appearance since October, failed to scramble back to stop Adam Phillips ‘cross from sneaking into the front post, Derek Adams’ side would have a 12-minute lead taken.
That would certainly have made things interesting. In the end it was all pretty routine.
Timo Werner ended a 13-game dry run for goal when he scored a simple tap-in to double Chelsea’s first-half lead
Chelsea players celebrate after Callum Hudson-Odoi added a third goal for the Blues not long in the second half
Hudson-Odoi holds his face after meeting with Morecambe’s Cameroonian defender Yann Songo’o
Mount struck first in the 17th minute with a beautifully punched attempt from the edge of the box that had beaten Mark Halstead before he even had time to get up.
Aside from Phillips’ inadvertent attempt, Chelsea was – as you’d expect – full control by the time they took the lead.
But even in a game so one-sided, you still felt the relief.
All aspirations of a miraculous comeback were interrupted just before half time when Werner tapped home from two meters after Kai Havertz nodded Hakim Ziyech’s deep cross in front of goal.
The fear of Morecambe boss Adams was evident, especially after Callum Hudson-Odoi broke the offside trap to shoot Ziyech’s pass to Chelsea in the 50th minute.
But thanks to the Lancashire outfit, they didn’t budge – though Halstead produced a sensational double save to deny Havertz and Christian Pulisic in quick succession in the 72nd minute.
Havertz eventually took fourth place with a brave header from Cesar Azplicueta’s cross five minutes from time, as Chelsea’s quality said.
In reality, Morecambe’s ambition to evoke their own FA Cup history of giant killings never really took off, but Adams should be proud of the way his players acquitted themselves.
Likewise, Lampard will be satisfied with his day job. For the time being, the pressure is gone. The wrong result against Fulham on Friday, however, and Lampard will know the possible consequences.
Hakim Ziyech blocks a shot from Nathaniel Knight-Percival in a game where Morecambe struggled to create a real opportunity
Kai Havertz made it a perfect day for Chelsea as, like Werner, he also broke a long drought that dates back to October 17.
Derek Adams’ Morecambe side tried hard to shut out Chelsea but Premier League quality proved too strong
Frank Lampard will find out on Monday evening who his squad will face next when the draws for the fourth and fifth rounds are sorted