Chelsea faced Manchester City at Wembley Stadium for a place in the final of this season’s Emirates FA Cup. The Blues put up a resilient and dogged performance and picked up a priceless 1-0 win over Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side.
Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel made three changes to the starting XI that lost to FC Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday. Chelsea had the ball in the back of the net within 10 minutes following a quick start as Timo Werner broke free down the left and teed up Hakim Ziyech who put the ball in the back of the net, but the referee’s assistant had his flag raised for offside against the Morrocan forward. Chelsea continued to play on the front foot and wing backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James both missed good chances to open the scoring for the Blues who succeeded in restricting their illustrious opponents to a single shot on target all through the first half.
Manchester City started the second half strongly and had Chelsea pinned back, but a brilliantly executed counter on 55 minutes saw Chelsea grab the lead. Mason Mount played an early ball for Werner to run into down the left, and the German striker used his pace to stretch the Manchester City defence before playing a square ball for Ziyech to roll into an empty net to make it 1-0. Four minutes later, Ziyech almost made it through after a brilliant early ball from Chilwell caught out City’s high line and allowed Ziyech shoot one on one with the keeper, but the keeper saved with his leg. Chelsea defended resolutely, with their defensive stability a major highlight under the reign of Tuchel, and they were able to take the sting out of all of Manchester City’s attacks. Chelsea had the ball in the back of the net for a third time when substitute Christian Pulisic squeezed one in, but the assistant referee had his flag raised for offside against the American winger as Chelsea saw out the game relatively comfortably.
Chelsea’s triumph means they have now qualified for the final of this season’s FA Cup, and will face one of Leicester City or Southampton at Wembley for the trophy they lost to Arsenal last season. Thomas Tuchel has also become the first German to ever reach the final of the FA Cup in England as he looks set to lead Chelsea to what would be a huge success for their young squad. Chelsea have also ended Manchester City’s dream of winning all four major tournaments in which they are competing.