LONDON — Oscar scored a first-half hat trick as Chelsea cruised to a 5-1 victory at second-tier MK Dons to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Oscar tapped into an empty net in the 15th minute after a defensive blunder, but the Dons soon levelled when Darren Potter beat Thibaut Courtois with a heavily deflected shot from the edge of the area.
Costa and Eden Hazard squandered easy chances before Oscar drilled home Chelsea’s second in the 32nd minute and then smashed in a superb third just before the break after a 25-yard (meter) run that started over on the left touchline.
Hazard converted a penalty after the break and Bertrand Traore added the fifth as Guus Hiddink’s side made sure there was no risk of a cup upset.
"If you play the big, big games like Arsenal, Man U, Man City, etc, the concentration is always high, automatically," Hiddink said. "But these games, you have to be well-prepared mentally and I think we did well in the first half – although we were not finishing it off in the first 20 minutes."
Hiddink, who has engineered a solid recovery by the Premier League champions since replacing Jose Mourinho in December, paid tribute to match-winner Oscar.
"He’s playing with a smile on his face and that’s what I like very much with the players, when they know their obligation – and also defensively, these guys know their job to do and they do it… It’s good to see."
Chelsea’s next opponent in the competition will not be such a pushover as the Dons, after Hiddink’s side was drawn against Premier League title favourite Manchester City in the last 16.
Everton also advanced on Sunday, beating fourth-tier Carlisle 3-0 in a match where fans were given a warning that racism would not be tolerated at the stadium, following a report of abusive language.
The alleged incident happened after Everton opened the scoring in the second minute through Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone, who is black.
A public address system message warned fans that racist abuse would not be tolerated, and local police issued the same message on Twitter, asking anyone with information to report it.
"I thought it was dealt with in a very good manner," Everton manager Roberto Martinez told broadcaster BT Sport.
Aaron Lennon, who lined up Kone’s tap-in at the far post, made it 2-0 in the 14th with another close-range strike.
Ross Barkley put the result beyond doubt in the 65th with an impressive curling shot from the edge of the area that took a slight deflection.
Everton is away to Bournemouth in the fifth round.