Premier League leaders Chelsea reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with victory over Wolves in an entertaining tie at Molineux.
Wolves, just five points above the Championship relegation zone, took a positive approach in the first half as George Saville lashed an early strike against the post.
Chelsea’s defence was repeatedly tested before the visitors finally upped the tempo, forcing them back and allowing Pedro to dart in and head home unmarked at the back post.
Diego Costa sealed Chelsea’s place with his 16th goal of the season as he slid a low finish past Carl Ikeme.
-Chelsea sparkle beats Wolves grit-
Chelsea, eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, were put under pressure by Burnley in their last outing – a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor – and although Wolves’ defence did not have the bite of the Clarets’, the hosts were quick to close down.
Blues boss Antonio Conte made seven changes to his side, breaking with the consistency that has been key to their success this season.
A lively start from Wolves rattled Chelsea in the first half, but as the Blues grew into the game the hosts left them too much space to exploit, never more so than for the opener, as Eden Hazard and Willian were afforded time to tee up the unmarked Pedro.
The second goal felt inevitable and it duly came as the hosts committed men forward, the ball breaking kindly to Costa in the area off a Wolves body and swiftly dispatched into the corner.