Chelsea delivered a five-star knock-out performance as the Blues thumped MK Dons to set up a Fifth Round crunch tie against Manchester City, but the euphoria was immediately drowned out as John Terry announced he would leave the club at the end of the season.
Oscar started the rout but was quickly pegged back by Potter, but Chelsea were not done as Oscar completed his hat-trick in the first half before Hazard and Traore rounded matters off.
In truth it should have been a more handsome victory for the Blues, wasted many of their 24 shots and 67% possession, but will do Hiddink nicely as it extends Chelsea’s unbeaten run to nine. It will also be Terry’s last FA Cup run as news breaks that the Club have decided not to extend their captain’s contract.
It was the perfect start to the game for Chelsea, but painful for Chelsea fans’ viewing who saw their side miss chance after chance.
Costa was one-on-one and two yards out inside the first three minutes but hit firmly at Martin. Oscar then totally missed the target when on the edge of the box and in a glorious position to side-foot home, before Ivanovic and Oscar again missed fantastic chances to open the scoring.
Eventually the door will open if you knock enough times and this proved to be the case for Oscar, who was unmarked one yard out to get onto the end of Costa’s squared pass. It all came from a disastrous back-pass from McFazdean.
Chelsea just kept on coming, but not before MK Dons equalised. Potter’s shot from 25 yards out looked to be tame but a big deflection off Matic, who lazily stuck a leg out, saw the ball loop over Courtois.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was the only youngster afforded game-time by Hiddink, who is clearly taking this competition very seriously but the Englishman was not letting himself down, with some penetrating runs and shots but, frustratingly, no end product.
Costa and Eden Hazard, who had gone 30 matches without a goal, again were lively and gave Chelsea a new dimension but did not look like their would get their name on the score-sheet from open play.
Oscar was loving life though and, when fed in by Loftus-Cheek, the youngster took one touch to compose himself and the second landed in the back of the net.
Chelsea were in front again as MK Dons were pulled apart, with the hosts desperately needing half-time to reset their shape, but there was just enough time for Oscar to clinch his, and Chelsea’s third. The 24-year-old was afforded so much space to run and run into the heart of the MK Dons defence and unleashed a curling shot past Martin.
All the action continued to be at MK Dons’ goal as the hosts were paying the price for trying to match Chelsea with an attacking game plan, which left them far too susceptible at the back, as shown in the 54th minute when Potter felled Hazard.
It was a lazy kick out by the MK Dons scorer and the Belgian, with some encouragement from Terry and Costa, got off the mark for the season. The celebration — a kiss of the Chelsea badge — was probably to ward off critics who say he might be off to Real Madrid but how much of that was sincere and how much down to public relations to fans who have stuck by him after a remarkably goal-shy season remains to be seen.
Traore entered the fray and, despite often played as a left-winger by Mourinho, was allowed the central striking role by Hiddink and responded gratefully by scoring Chelsea’s fifth. The 20-year-old was allowed too much space to side-foot home from Hazard’s pull back, and Chelsea saw out the final 20 minutes with ease.
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Man of the Match
OSCAR: Wasted many opportunities at the start of the game, including having a certain goal taken off him by Costa, but took matters into his own hands with some excellent individual goals created by excellent play and runs. The Brazilian, arguable Mourinho’s biggest under-performer, looks to be enjoying life a little more under Hiddink. 8/10
Hiddink was pleased with his side’s professionalism: “We are delighted. The concentration against the big teams is always high but these games you have to be well prepared mentally. They got even but we reacted very well.”
Karl Robinson never had his hopes up: “This was a free game for us but I’m disappointed as well, I thought we were poor. We almost caused our own problems at times in the game.”