Chelsea secured their place in the FA Cup fourth round with a dominant second-half performance against Championship team Preston at Stamford Bridge. Armando Broja opened the scoring with a brilliant glancing header, followed by Thiago Silva's unmarked header from a corner and Raheem Sterling's dipping free-kick.
Enzo Fernandez added a fourth late in the game after initially being flagged offside, with the video assistant referee overturning the decision. Despite Preston's lively first-half display, Chelsea's quality and clinical finishing in the second half secured the victory.
For the majority of the match, Chelsea faced a determined Preston side that sought to engage their passionate away support and avoid a defensive stance. Preston's attacking efforts, particularly through Liam Millar, kept Chelsea on their toes, and the first half remained frustrating for the home side as clear-cut chances went unconverted. However, the second half saw Chelsea's superiority shine through, with Armando Broja's header from Malo Gusto's cross setting the tone for a dominant period.
Ryan Lowe's Preston couldn't sustain their first-half intensity, and Chelsea capitalized, swiftly putting the game out of reach. Thiago Silva's header and Raheem Sterling's free-kick showcased Chelsea's quality. The result allowed manager Mauricio Pochettino to introduce 17-year-old Michael Golding for his debut in the closing stages. Despite a valiant effort from Preston, Chelsea's second-half clinical finishing and overall quality ensured their progression to the next round of the FA Cup.