Chelsea 2-0 Palace: Chelsea into third successive FA Cup final

Chelsea 2-0 Palace: Chelsea into third successive FA Cup final
Chelsea 2-0 Palace: Chelsea into third successive FA Cup final

Chelsea advanced to their third FA Cup final in a row with a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace at Wembley on Sunday, thanks to second-half goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount.

The Blues have established a habit of reaching the FA Cup final in recent years, having competed in four of the last five, and while their semi-final triumph was far from classic, Thomas Tuchel’s team looked at ease once they found the breakthrough.

During a cagey first 45 minutes, neither team showed much spark in attack, and there were little signs of progress after the break.

However, a series of fortunate deflections enabled replacement Loftus-Cheek to open the deadlock just before the hour for his first Chelsea goal since May 2019, and Mount’s finish shortly after assured the Blues would meet Liverpool for the title.

A sluggish first half was brought to life after 35 minutes when Edouard Mendy saved a goal-bound shot from Senegal teammate Cheikhou Kouyate down to his left.

A few seconds later, Kai Havertz attempted to gain a penalty with a dive at the opposite end, but referee Anthony Taylor saw through his deceit and handed a yellow card.

Kouyate came near again early in the second half, but his header drifted agonisingly wide, and Chelsea scored in the 65th minute.

Havertz’s cutback was deflected into Loftus-path, Cheek’s and another touch from a Palace defender deflected the midfielder’s powerful effort beyond Jack Butland’s grasp.

Mount sealed the deal 14 minutes from time, slotting a nice finish into the bottom-right corner following superb work from Timo Werner, with Romelu Lukaku’s horrendous late miss proving insignificant.