A late afternoon match in January away to a lower division team can often be cause for bitten fingernails and loss of sleep but Chelsea eased into the fifth round with a comfortable win over MK Dons.
In the early stages of the match, it appeared the Blues could score with ease and had several chances to do so before Oscar tapped in Diego Costa’s square ball after the Brazilian international nicked the ball from Kyle McFadzean’s incredibly short back pass.
Chelsea relaxed too much though and the passing became wayward which allowed MK Dons to pressure the defence. Former Liverpool player Darren Potter scored the equaliser after 22 minutes when his shot deflected wickedly off of Nemanja Matic’s heel and looped over Thibaut Courtois.
Oscar restored the lead 10 minutes later when Loftus-Cheek found him with a beautiful pass to fire past David Martin in the Dons goal.
The Brazilian midfielder completed his hat-trick on 44 minutes with a run from the left wing which took him away from Jordan Spence and he curled a great shot past the keeper.
Eden Hazard scored his first goal in 30 games when he won a penalty and slotted the spot kick to Martin’s right. Bertrand Traore came on as a 56th-minute substitute for Costa and scored five minutes later before the match fizzled out for the last half hour.
Chelsea now face Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in the next round and know that given their league position, the FA Cup could well be their best bet for getting European football next season.