Goals by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount delivered the finishing blow to Crystal Palace’s hopes of reaching the FA Cup finals. Chelsea hosted Crystal Palace at Wembley on Sunday. They able to come out on top after a 2-0 victory sees them through to the finals to meet Liverpool. It’s as if destiny is handing Chelsea another chance at redemption for the League Cup loss back in February this year.
This past Sunday, Ruben Loftus-Cheek came on as a substitute and scored the opening goal in the 65th minute of the FA Cup semi-finals. Soon, Mason Mount was able to double that score to book a ticket to the finals. A disappointing week at the UEFA Champions League saw Chelsea crash out of the European competition at the hands of an inspired Real Madrid. However, The Blues can get some respite after the fact that now they have a solid chance to win the FA Cup this season.
The tie was a quiet affair in the first half. Save for a couple of Palace chances, Chelsea had to wait for the 65th minute to find the Palace goal. It all began with Palace’s left-back Tyrick Mitchell succumbing to the press and losing the ball in his half. This opportunity was pounced on by Chelsea’s Kai Havertz whose low cross was hastily cleared by Palace, only to fall at the feet of Loftus-Cheek. He made no mistake to power home a powerful shot that found its target albeit with a slight deflection. This strike ended his goal drought from way back in 2019.
With Palace now pushing players forward in search of the goal, saw them vulnerable at defense. The match was soon wrapped up when Timo Werner put Mason Mount clear in Palace’s box, only for Mount to slot it past Jack Butland for Chelsea’s 2nd goal. With this goal, the England international registered his 12th goal for the season.
There were other close chances for Chelsea to further increase the lead when Romelu Lukaku came close to scoring. However, his shot went wide and we are still waiting for the star striker to end his goal drought and regain his form.
With this win, Thomas Tuchel continues on his brilliant domestic form. Speaking to the press after the match, Thomas Tuchel defended his side for a poor and lethargic first half. He insisted that it was the correct approach to tackle, Crystal Palace’s counter-attacking style of football. With the troubles off the pitch concerning the sanctions against Roman Abramovich, it is commendable the work Tuchel has put in to keep Chelsea as a credible side.
Regarding Crystal Palace, Patrick Vierra, after the match commended his side’s efforts and admitted that they did all they could, however, Chelsea was too good on the day. He was also quick to commend the fans and the impact they bought. Taking charge of an aging side, the Crystal Palace board and fans know their priority of building a team for the future. A rebuild project will certainly take time and presently with Vierra at the helm, everybody is confident in him being the right man for the job. Even though their FA Cup campaign ended in heartbreak, Palace has nothing to be disappointed about. Their performance in the cup games and in the league has shown considerable progress overall and are looking at a stable future.
Chelsea is now poised to face Liverpool in the FA Cup final. Liverpool is en route to a quadruple. Chelsea will certainly be wary of a strong and determined Liverpool side. With Jurgen Klopp’s relentless press football, Thomas Tuchel will have his work cut out. Notwithstanding the troubles at the club, Chelsea will also be looking forward to making sure they do not finish as runner-ups for the 3rd consecutive year. We will also see a rematch of the League Cup final, which saw Chelsea lose to Liverpool on penalties. They will be out for redemption and will certainly hope for a favorable result this time around. Nonetheless, we are in for an epic showdown on the 14th of May, 2022.
Also Read: 2022 FA Cup Final: Start Time