Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace: Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount send Blues into third consecutive FA Cup final
Match report as Chelsea overcome Crystal Palace at Wembley to book their place in the FA Cup final, where they will face seven-time winners Liverpool on May 14; Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount score in second half to seal a 2-0 victory for Thomas Tuchel’s side
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount scored second-half goals to send Chelsea into their third consecutive FA Cup final with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Wembley.
On a glorious Easter Sunday afternoon in London, substitute Loftus-Cheek’s first goal of the season (65) and Mount’s composed finish 11 minutes later were enough to book a meeting with seven-time winners Liverpool on May 14.
After a quiet and uneventful start, the best chance of the first half fell to Palace, Cheikhou Kouyate’s volleyed drive forcing Edouard Mendy into a fine save before Joachim Andersen hit a post with the rebound but was ruled offside.
The tie needed a moment of magic and Loftus-Cheek, who had replaced the injured Mateo Kovacic in the 26th minute, delivered just that 20 minutes into the second period.
Timo Werner started in attack for Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel made three changes from Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at Real Madrid.
N’Golo Kante was only on the bench, with Thiago Silva and Ruben Loftus-Cheek also out of the starting XI.
In came Jorginho, Andreas Christensen and captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira made four changes from the side that lost 2-1 to Leicester in the Premier League last weekend.
Cup goalkeeper Jack Butland replaced Vicente Guaita, James McArthur came back in as captain, Joel Ward started ahead of Nathaniel Clyne at right-back and Eberechi Eze replaced Jordan Ayew.
Palace left-back Tyrick Mitchell was caught on the ball and, after a couple of quick one-touch passes saw Kai Havertz advance into the box, his half-cleared effort was smashed home by Loftus-Cheek via a slight deflection for the opener.
The 26-year-old, who spent the 2017-18 season on loan at Palace, punched the air in celebration as he ended a Chelsea goal drought stretching back to May 9, 2019.
Eleven minutes later and Chelsea put the result beyond doubt. Timo Werner’s simple square ball from the edge of the box was nicked past Andersen by Mount’s first touch, the England international then burying a finish beyond Jack Butland with his second for his 12th goal of the campaign.
After losing to Arsenal in 2020 and Leicester last year, Chelsea will hope it is third time lucky at Wembley next month when they target a ninth FA Cup title. The result also capped a successful day for the club, with Chelsea Women having earlier progressed to their third FA Cup final in five years after beating Arsenal 2-0.
Chelsea host Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday at 7.45pm – live on