Luton Town took the lead twice but eventually fell to a 3-2 home defeat as Chelsea advanced to the FA Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday night.
The Championship’s second-highest set-piece scorers lived up to their billing as Reece Burke darted to the near post and glanced a corner with a pinpoint header, kissing off the far post before nestling into the net 102 seconds in.
Buoyed by a typically boisterous Kenilworth Road crowd, Luton, who made some changes of their own, pressed their rotated Premier League opposition high up the pitch.
However, it was the reigning world and European champions that capitalized upon a turnover in the opposition half. Saul Niguez crisply finished off a swift surge up the pitch following a cheap giveaway.
Luton’s substitute goalkeeper Harry Isted – forced on inside 15 minutes for the injured Jed Steer – helped his side weather a bubbling squall of Chelsea pressure after their equalizer, making three impressive saves in rapid succession.
Harry Cornick fired the Hatters back into the lead against the run of play in the closing stages of the first half. Capitalizing on Malang Sarr’s failed attempts to catch him offside, Cornick showed no fear as he converted against the club he supported as a boy.
Chelsea had a monopoly of possession throughout but forced Luton back into their defensive third with a higher line in the second half. Nevertheless, their hosts’ increasingly compact shape frustrated the Blues.
Luton’s resistance was eventually broken for a second time on 67 minutes, with Werner taking advantage of Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s pass to slide home a cool finish into the corner.
And the Premier League outfit completed the comeback on 78 minutes as Lukaku pounced on a ball across the six yard box from Werner to strike the decisive, match-winning blow.