Chelsea will face quadruple pursuers Liverpool in which FA Cup final goals after the second half Ruben Loftus Cheek and mason mountain sealed a 2-0 against win crystal palace On Sunday.
Thomas Tuchel’s side had to work hard to break Palace’s stubborn resistance in the semi-finals at Wembley, but Loftus-Cheek’s wild strike put them on course for their third straight FA Cup final.
Mount settled the result with a fine finish of his own, securing a date for Chelsea with Liverpool in the final at Wembley on 14 May.
It will be Chelsea’s fifth FA Cup final in the last six years as they look to redeem showpiece defeats by Arsenal and Leicester in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
In their 16th FA Cup final, Chelsea are looking to win the competition for the ninth time and for the first time since 2018.
It was a welcome refreshment after Tuesday’s painful Champions League quarter-finals exit at Real Madrid, where the Blues scored three goals to reverse a 3-1 deficit in the first leg, only to be eliminated after extra time.
Tuchel has won the Champions League, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup during his tenure but he is yet to lead Chelsea to a domestic trophy.
With three consortia in the running to buy Chelsea following the UK government’s sanctions on Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich after invading Ukraine, the Blues could have a new owner when they return to Wembley.
Beating Palace keeps them in contention to end a troubled season with a silver medal, although Liverpool, who beat leaders Manchester City 3-2 in Saturday’s semi-finals, will offer a far tougher opponent.
Despite the mental and physical exhaustion of his players after the grueling defeat in Madrid, Tuchel made just three substitutions, leaving Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante and Loftus-Cheek on the bench.
Chelsea had beaten Palace twice this season without conceding in the Premier League but they looked flat in the first half.
Faced with a Palace side that were tiger-like in tackles and well-drilled in their low defensive block, Chelsea found it difficult to assert themselves.
It took Tuchel’s man 25 minutes to create a chance and even then Kai Havertz’s header was easy for Palace keeper Jack Butland.
They lost Mateo Kovacic to injury soon after and Loftus-Cheek was featured against the side he once played for on loan.
Tuchel grew restless as Chelsea struggled to take control and the German turned away in frustration after Cesar Azpilicueta made an acrobatic attempt to volley in a Timo Werner cross.
Palace were almost rewarded for their dismal performance just before half-time.
Cheikhou Kouyate’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Edouard Mendy and Joachim Andersen slammed the rebound into the post from close range.
Chelsea had more possession in the second half, although Kouyate ran narrowly again and narrowly missed a corner from Eberechi Eze with a header.
Crucially, Conor Gallagher was unavailable for Chelsea after Palace failed to persuade their parent club to give the England midfielder special permission to play.
This ruse-deprived Palace had to pose a bigger threat and to their credit, Chelsea never lost patience.
Chelsea took the lead in the 65th minute
In the 65th minute they finally took the lead with their second shot on goal.
Loftus-Cheek selected Havertz in the Palace area and the German sliced a pass back to the midfielder, who smashed an excellent 12-yard shot past Butland.
Chelsea finally got better and Mount finished Palace in the 76th minute by easily taking Werner’s pass before passing Butland with ease.
By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse
Chelsea sink Crystal Palace to book FA Cup final with Liverpool
Source link Chelsea sink Crystal Palace to book FA Cup final with Liverpool