13 May 2021

Chelsea’s route to the FA Cup final

13 May 2021

Champions League hopefuls Chelsea will step into the first of their two major finals when taking on Leicester in Saturday’s FA Cup showpiece.

Here, the PA news agency plots the Blues’ course to their second-straight FA Cup final.

Third round: Chelsea 4 Morecambe 0, January 10

Frank Lampard fielded a full-strength Chelsea line-up to host the League Two visitors, as he wrestled to gel his clutch of high-profile summer signings. Germany forward Timo Werner ended a 13-game goal drought, with Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz also on target. This was plain sailing for the Blues, despite boss Lampard’s battles to maximise the rich talents at his disposal elsewhere.

Fourth round: Chelsea 3 Luton 1, January 24

A Tammy Abraham hat-trick was not enough to save Chelsea’s all-time top scorer Lampard from the impending sack as manager. Lampard would pay the price for his struggles to find quick-fire fluency from the Blues’ potent squad just two days later. But the weekend before his dismissal, Abraham fired a vital treble to ease Chelsea through without issue. Werner missed a penalty and appeared disconsolate, but the Blues pressed on undeterred.

Fifth round: Barnsley 0 Chelsea 1, February 11

Abraham again delivered for the Blues, who were put under the pump by Valerian Ismael’s well-drilled Tykes. This was Tuchel’s fifth game at the Chelsea helm, which produced his fourth clean sheet – a sign of the hugely-impressive defensive stability to come.

Quarter-finals: Chelsea 2 Sheffield United 0, March 21

Hakim Ziyech’s late goal put the seal on another big win for the Blues, who had profited from the luckless Oliver Norwood’s own goal to lead 1-0 at the break. Chelsea were never required to hit top gear, and duly eased to the win, despite the Blades wasting several good chances that had Tuchel feeling twitchy on the touchline.

Semi-finals: Chelsea 1 Man City 0, April 17

Morocco forward Ziyech delivered again as Chelsea produced a masterclass performance to end City’s bid for an unprecedented quadruple. Tuchel got the better of rival boss Pep Guardiola as Chelsea completely contained a City side that was left frustrated by the inability to find any attacking rhythm.

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