Sky Bet Championship side Hull City bowed out the Emirates FA Cup following a 4-0 defeat at Premier League side Chelsea.
The Tigers are only a point above the Sky Bet Championship and can now focus entirely on retaining their second-tier status and avoiding back-to-back relegation from the Premier Leauge to Sky Bet League One.
Nigel Adkins’ side were never expected to achieve a result at Stamford Bridge – especially after having three different defenders ineligible due to being on-loan from Chelsea – however they fell behind within 90 sconds as Kevin Stewart lost to the ball to Willian who instinctively opened the scoring by curling into the bottom corner from the edge-of-the-box.
The Blues then extended their lead midway through the first half as Pedro shot under David Marshall after having raced onto Cesc Fabregas’ searching pass.
Five minutes later Chelsea had a third goal. Giroud’s strength held-off Stewart before the Frenchman slipped a pass to Willian who fired in his second of the evening from 25-yards.
A damning first-half performance for the Tigers was made even worse as Giroud scored Chelsea’s fourth goal with three minutes left, sending a deft touch past Marshall from close range.
The Sky Bet Championship could have pulled a goal back early in the second half when Harry Wilson was bundled over in the area by Fabregas – a tackle which forced the on-loan striker off through injury. However David Meyler watched as his penalty was saved by Willy Caballero.
Adkins’ side almost conceded a fifth late-on but Willian’s effort from 20-yards struck the post to deny the Brazillian a first career hat-trick.
After a distraction in the Emirates FA Cup, the Tigers can now focus their full attention on the final fifteen League games as they target survival.