2-goal Batshuayi up for the cup in Chelsea win
Michy Batshuayi took advantage of a rare start to score twice as Chelsea eased past Newcastle United 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The Belgian's goals could not have been better timed with reports suggesting that Chelsea are close to signing a striker ahead of Wednesday's transfer deadline.
Batshuayi was one of four changes from the team knocked out of the League Cup in midweek and Antonio Conte's show of faith in his reserve striker was quickly rewarded when he got on the end of a slick move started by Pedro's probing pass to put Chelsea ahead on 31 minutes.
Although Batshuayi seldom gets game time in the English Premier League, he remains the Italian's go-to man in the FA Cup, with no Chelsea player having scored more in the competition under Conte.
Another strike quickly followed although this time Batshuayi needed a huge slice of luck when, set free by Eden Hazard, his shot was deflected over the keeper by the diving Jamaal Lascelles just before the break.
The goal was Batshuayi's 10th of the season. Asked after the match about his future, the striker said: "I don't know, it's better you speak to Conte.
"When I have a chance I want to take it. I work every day and today I am very happy here."
Marcus Alonso added Chelsea's third just after the interval with a superb 72nd-minute freekick over the wall.
While Chelsea has been in the fifth round 18 times in the past 20 years, Newcastle last reached that stage in 2006.
Cardiff City was hosting Manchester City in the day's other game later on Sunday.
On Saturday, Wigan Athletic pulled off the big shock of the FA Cup fourth round as the team from the third-tier of English football knocked out EPL West Ham United 2-0 with a famous double from its cult hero Will Grigg.
West Ham was not the only top-flight side to flounder in England's famous knockout competition, however, as Liverpool lost 2-3 at Anfield to West Bromwich Albion in a game overshadowed by the theater surrounding the new VAR technology.
On a day of typical FA Cup drama, Tottenham Hotspur was also eight minutes from tumbling out at League Two (fourth-tier) Newport County until a Harry Kane tap-in salvaged a 1-1 draw.
The EPL's bottom club Swansea City was also held to a 1-1 draw at League Two Notts County while Huddersfield Town drew 1-1 with Championship (second-tier) visitor Birmingham City.
Above all, it was David Moyes's West Ham which suffered the sort of nightmare Cup afternoon the bigger clubs dread.
Wigan's hero proved to be Northern Ireland striker Grigg, who again found himself the subject of the fans' favorite chorus of "Will Grigg's On Fire" as he headed home after seven minutes and converted a second-half penalty.
To compound their misery, the Hammers had to play for more than 40 minutes with 10 men after Arthur Masuaku was sent off soon after the break for spitting at Wigan's Nick Powell.
League One leader Wigan, which knocked out EPL Bournemouth in the third round, has seen fortunes dip since lifting the Cup in 2013.
Yet its fans at the DW Stadium were again left celebrating when Grigg scored his second in the 62nd minute from the spot.
"A Cup run is great. The extra games are no problem for us. If it is a top Premier League team next, we will take that," said a delighted Grigg.
Liverpool suffered its first defeat at Anfield this season, a double from Jay Rodriguez inspiring West Brom to triumph against all the odds — and VAR.
Rodriguez's brace in four minutes swiftly overturned Roberto Firmino's fifth-minute goal before the video technology took center stage.
First, it was used to rule out an early West Brom goal from Craig Dawson for offside.
Then referee Craig Pawson used his pitchside monitor at length — the first time the on-field review has occurred in the English game — to change his decision and award a penalty to Liverpool after a foul by Jake Livermore on Mohamed Salah.
Firmino, though, hit the bar with his spot-kick and Albion manager Alan Pardew's angry features only changed once Joel Matip diverted a cross into his own net just before the break.
Salah's late strike, amid plenty of Liverpool pressure, proved not enough to save the Reds who were again let down by poor defending.
Leicester City won 5-1 at League One Peterborough thanks to two goals each from Fousseni Diabate on his debut and Kelechi Iheanacho.