Caballero: Pleased to progress

Willy Caballero, our penalty shoot-out hero in last night’s FA Cup win over Norwich City, expressed his delight after helping the team secure our place in the fourth round.

On a dramatic night at Stamford Bridge, the Blues set up a home tie against Newcastle United after overcoming the Championship side on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

The Canaries had sent the game into extra-time when Jamal Lewis scored a last-gasp equaliser to cancel out Michy Batshuayi’s opener, but it was Antonio Conte’s side who were triumphant on spot kicks, with all five of our penalties converted, and Caballero making a crucial save to deny Nelson Oliveira [pictured below].

‘It was an important save because we went through to the next round,’ said the Chelsea goalkeeper as he reflected on his decisive contribution.

‘As the game was finishing we conceded in the 94th minute, which was unfair because we played very well and created many chances to score the second goal. I had the opportunity to help the team with the penalty so I’m happy.

‘I don’t like to go to a penalty shoot-out. I’ve had good experiences in them but I would prefer to win a game in 90 minutes or extra-time because it’s a different feeling. If you lose on penalties it’s a massive frustration.’

It was a contest full of talking points as the Blues ended the game with nine men after Spanish attackers Pedro and Alvaro Morata were both sent off, and Willian was controversially booked after not getting a penalty decision. 

‘We need time to adapt to the new technology instrument because for players, supporters and the people who watch the game, it’s important to learn about it,’ said Caballero.

‘It’s important for all the players to learn all of the rules and understand how the VAR works.

‘It’s so difficult to be a referee at this level, only a few can do it. The work the referee does is so hard and they have my respect when they make a decision.’

Conte made a number of changes to the side, fielding a similar line-up to the one which started the initial tie at Carrow Road, and Caballero felt it was a good display.

‘Lots of the team played really well so they must be happy with their performances,’ said the Argentinian. ‘I’m satisfied with my performance, I did my best. I couldn’t do anything to stop their goal, which was frustrating.

‘After that we finished very well because I saved a penalty and we went through. All the team ran a lot and we finished the game with nine players so we gave everything on the pitch.’

CABALLERO: 'I studied the Norwich penalty takers'.

News 18/01/2018