Chelsea v Preston player ratings: Broja 8, Palmer 7; Keane 6, Browne 4

Blues advance to the FA Cup fourth-round with a 4-0 win at Stamford Bridge

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Armando Broja set Chelsea on their way to a 4-0 FA Cup third-round win over Championship side Preston North End on Saturday, answering manager Mauricio Pochettino's call for the Albania striker to seize his chance.

Broja, whose starts this season have been limited by injury and the presence of Nicolas Jackson who is now with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations, scored Chelsea's opener in the 58th minute with a deft header from Malo Gusto's cross.

Broja had the chance for a brace but grazed the top of the bar before Thiago Silva, just off the bench, powered in a header from a Cole Palmer corner in the 66th minute as the Blues turned on the gas after a dull first half.

Raheem Sterling curled in a free kick and five minutes from time Enzo Fernandez turned the ball into an empty net to complete the rout, although he had to wait for a long VAR check before being able to celebrate.

The domestic cup competitions represent Chelsea's only realistic chance of silverware this season with the expensively assembled side lying 10th in the Premier League.

The Blues play Middlesbrough in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

Check out the photo gallery above for the player ratings from Stamford Bridge. To move on to the next slide, click on the arrows or swipe if using a mobile device.

Updated: January 07, 2024, 4:38 AM