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FA Cup: Chelsea Survive Scare, West Ham Win With Late Rally

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The non-league Kidderminster Harriers were seconds away from one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history until Declan Rice rescued West Ham as the Premier League side progressed to the fifth round 2-1 after the extension. Chelsea also needed extra time and late drama to beat their lower league rivals 2-1 to reach the round of 16 after Plymouth missed a late penalty at Stamford Bridge. Sixth-tier Kidderminster sit 113 places short of David Moyes’s men, who are fighting for a place in next season’s Champions League.

But the fragility of the Hammers team without Rice and Michail Antonio was exposed, as the Harriers got good value from the lead that Alex Penny’s early goal gave them for much of the 90 minutes.

The defender crashed into an opener after the Hammers failed to deal with Omari Sterling’s free throw.

Moyes sent Rice at halftime between five changes during the second half, but the home team looked ready to hold on until the England midfielder took matters into his own hands.

Rice charged forward from midfield in the first minute of stoppage time, cut inside and fired the ball high into the roof of the net.

Even then, the visitors toiled through 30 minutes of extra time until they struck in stoppage time once again to avoid the risk of a penalty shootout.

Jarrod Bowen was left with the simple task of touching home from close range after Kidderminster goalkeeper Luke Simpson denied Aaron Cresswell from close range.

Chelsea were without manager Thomas Tuchel, who has tested positive for coronavirus.

And a star-studded Blues line-up made life difficult for them before traveling to the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.

Macaulay Gillesphey nodded to the League One side in the lead after just eight minutes.

Plymouth’s goal had a charmed life as Mateo Kovacic and Callum Hudson-Odoi hit the crossbar before Cesar Azpilicueta’s ingenious strike equalized just before half-time.

Chelsea’s expected second-half onslaught failed to materialize and they had to wait until injury time at the end of the first half of extra time to take the lead when Marcos Alonso fired in Kai Havertz’s cross.

However, the drama did not end there, as Plymouth were awarded a penalty with seconds left in extra time.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has been hired in the past by Tuchel for penalty shootouts as a penalty specialist and the Spaniard made sure there was no penalty shootout when he saved Ryan Hardie’s penalty.

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