Cesc Fabregas missed a penalty and then cried on what could be his final Chelsea appearance as the FA Cup holders beat Nottingham Forest in the third round.
Fabregas is set to leave Chelsea in the transfer window but could not sign off with a goal on his 198th appearance after seeing his first half spot kick saved by Luke Steele. The former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder was pictured crying on the pitch following the final whistle as he prepares to leave Chelsea in the transfer window.
Maurizio Sarri named Callum Hudson-Odoi in his starting XI amid speculation the academy product could move to Bayern Munich and he set up Alvaro Morata’s first goal in seven games to put Chelsea in front on 49 minutes. Morata then doubled the lead with a header 10 minutes later as Sarri’s mean eased into the fourth round.
Chelsea should have taken the lead in the first half when Davide Zappacosta’s inviting cross found Morata unmarked six yards from goal, but his header lacked any conviction and was saved by Steele. Morata also missed an open goal from two yards out in the match but was relieved to see the assistant referee’s flag up for offside.
Emerson Palmieri curled a free kick just over the Forest crossbar before Morata felt visiting captain Danny Fox should have been sent off for bringing him down as the last man as he attempted to latch on to a long Fabregas pass. Morata made a gesture calling for VAR but the technology was not down to be used for the fixture.
His appeals were waved away by referee Andrew Madley, but Fox did not escape in the 30th minute when he brought down Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the box. Fabregas stepped up, but his tame penalty was saved by Steele low to his right. Loftus-Cheek then had to be substituted after picking up a knock and Eden Hazard replaced him.
Morata finally had the ball in the net after half time, slamming from close range after fine work on the right from Hudson-Odoi. The 18-year-old almost made it 2-0 but his effort was saved following an impressive run on goal before Morata made the game safe with his second of the match.
The former Real Madrid striker, who barely celebrated his goals, was then substituted for Cesar Azpilicueta and headed straight down the tunnel after an eventful afternoon’s work.
Fabregas then left the field for N’Golo Kante six minutes from time after picking up a knock and he embraced his Chelsea teammates and applauded all four corners of the ground as he left the Stamford Bridge pitch for possibly the final time.