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Nicolas Jackson what have you done?

Nicolas Jackson what have you done?

Chelsea’s hope of finishing this dismal season with a trophy were killed off as Bernardo Silva smashed home a late goal to help Manchester City to a 1-0 win in the semi-final of the FA Cup. Mauricio Pochettino’s team were left to rue their missed chances after enjoying bright spells throughout the game, but their lack of firepower let them down in the end.

With City struggling to get up and running just days after their midweek heartbreak against Real Madrid, Chelsea enjoyed the brighter start to the game. They should have gone ahead, too, as Nicolas Jackson had a massive opportunity to break the deadlock in the 30th minute. He was sent through to go one-on-one with Stefan Ortega but was unable to unleash a shot after rounding the goalkeeper and ended up giving possession to City.

The striker had two back-to-back opportunities to fire his team into the lead early in the second half, but saw both – a low shot and a header from close range – kept out by Ortega. Later in the half, he raced towards the City goal, with Kyle Walker matching him stride for stride, before knocking Jackson to the ground, but the forward’s appeal for a penalty was dismissed.

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With Jackson faltering, Blues hero Cole Palmer, captain Conor Gallagher and winger Noni Madueke were unable to compensate and find the decisive touch to capitalise on their team’s smart build-up play. All those missed chances came back to haunt them when the ball fell to Silva in the box and the Portuguese star had plenty of time to fire it in through a deflection off of Marc Cucurella.

Goalkeeper & Defence

Djordje Petrovic (7/10):

Pulled off a couple of good saves in the second half after a quiet first 45 minutes. A reliable presence in general.

Malo Gusto (7/10):

Another strong display for the young right-back as he dug in with solid tackles and charged up field to link up with Madueke.

Trevoh Chalobah (6/10):

Was stable in possession and helped keep the defence in shape.

Thiago Silva (7/10):

Helped frustrate City with some excellent clearances and passes.

Marc Cucurella (6/10):

Too slow to close down on one or two occasions – including for the goal – but made some good interventions and tried to overlap Gallagher on the wing.

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Midfield

Moises Caicedo (5/10):

A bit reckless with his tackles even after being shown a yellow card late in the first half.

Enzo Fernandez (6/10):

Fought hard in the middle of the pitch but his passing was not up to scratch.

Cole Palmer (7/10):

The true leader of this Chelsea team with his excellent all-round play and determination to win possession and get quick moves up and running. Unfortunate not to score.

Attack

Conor Gallagher (6/10):

Tried to win the ball high up the field and kickstart attacks but not a lot worked in his favour.

Nicolas Jackson (3/10):

So tame with his finishing as he wasted numerous chances. A huge opportunity in the first half saw him cut back inside and fail to get a shot away, and then he squandered two more at the start of the second period. Just looked uncomfortable every time he got on the ball.

Noni Madueke (6/10):

Tried to act as a direct threat with his dribbles and shots but City cut him out well.

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Getty

Subs & Manager

Mykhailo Mudryk (5/10):

Did not get much of a chance to create danger in his 10 minutes on the field.

Axel Disasi (6/10):

Slotted in at right-back for the end of the game.

Ben Chilwell (5/10):

Had a good chance to create something as he charged down the left wing but took too long and his cross was blocked.

Raheem Sterling (N/A):

Barely had a touch of the ball in his brief time on the field.

Mauricio Pochettino (7/10):

His team were set up solidly defensively and did well to keep City quiet for the majority of the game but the weaknesses of Jackson, Gallagher and Madueke hold them back significantly.

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