5 Things Learned: Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace | FA Cup Semi-Final
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side are into the FA Cup final following a hard fought win against Patrick Viera’s Crystal Palace.
Throughout the first half, Chelsea failed to establish some momentum as they really struggled to break Crystal Palace down.
The best chance of the half arguably fell to Palace’s Cheikhou Kouyaté. His volley was saved brilliantly by Edouard Mendy midway through the first half.
Chelsea started better in the second half, but still couldn’t assert their dominance. However, midway through the second half, their efforts were rewarded. Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s tidy volley gave the Blues the lead.
Palace were then looking to try and force their way back into the tie. However, Mason Mount’s finish sealed the victory for the Blues.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea now turn their attention to Wednesday’s important Premier League fixture against Arsenal.
1) With big games to go, consistency is key
It’s fair to say that with eight games to go, top four is still not secured for Thomas Tuchel’s side. Now that the Blues are knocked out of the Champions League, it’s time to start focusing on the FA Cup and the league. Due to Chelsea’s injury problems throughout the season, many fans would take an FA Cup and a third place finish in the league. Therefore, with games coming thick and fast, it is crucial that the Blues establish some form of momentum and keep picking up vital results.
2) Backing Thomas Tuchel is a must
Regardless of what happens with the takeover, one thing is for certain. Thomas Tuchel needs to be backed in the summer. Despite being knocked out of the Champions League, the showdown with Real Madrid showed why Tuchel is the man to guide the club going forward. It’s evident that the players believe in the club’s project. The chemistry that Tuchel has with the players and fan is second to none. Therefore, if the Blues want success in the very near future, the club need to back the German manager if they stand a chance of competing on all fronts next season.
3) The wingback issue still needs to be resolved
So far this season, both Reece James and Ben Chilwell have picked up tough injuries. It’s evident that Chelsea have struggled when the pair have been out the side. Marcos Alonso has produced moments. With that being said, the Spaniard hasn’t quite delivered enough. Despite James starting against Crystal Palace, Tuchel opted to start James in the back three and not at wingback. Therefore, it may be wise for the club to recruit in the summer. As the Chelsea faithful have seen, the Blues thrive off wingback play in their system.
4) Chelsea’s strength in depth could pay dividends
Early on in the showdown with Patrick Viera’s Palace side, Mateo Kovacic was forced off due to an ankle injury. Midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek was brought on in an attempt to make the difference. It’s fair to say that his presence helped boost Chelsea’s attacking play from midfield. In what was a fine display from the Englishman, Loftus-Cheek fired Tuchel’s side in front with a cracking volley. The club have been blessed with the sheer talent they have within their ranks. Throughout the season, key players coming off the bench have proved to make a difference when the side have been in dangerous situations.
5) Timo Werner and Mason Mount continue their good form
Over the last few weeks, both Mason Mount and Timo Werner have been in the goals. Their attacking intent has been evident and has helped the side in their quest to finish in the top four as well as reaching the FA Cup final. In the clash with Palace, Werner was arguably the Blues’ brightest sparl going forward. His pace in behind caused havoc for the Palace backline. As for Mount, his work rate and presence was a threat throughout the game. In the end, the pair linked up for the second goal in what was a fine performance from Chelsea’s forwards.