Just about got through…
Chelsea travelled to Barnsley for the 5th Round of the FA Cup and came back with a 0-1 win in a game that Barnsley dominated. Tuchel made 10 changes to the side with several regulars rested entirely. Kepa started in goal with Christensen, Zouma, and Emerson making up the back 3. Alonso, and Hudson-Odoi were the wing backs with Kante and Gilmour playing in the midfield. Pulisic, Tammy, and Ziyech started up front. The bench had players like Bate, and Anjorin on it.
What was expected to be another convincing win like the 6-0 one at Stamford Bridge turned out to be nothing like it. Chelsea were on the back foot form the get go as Barnsley pressed in packs and the players didn’t know what to do. Sloppy passes weak touches and lethargy were the key words for Chelsea’s 1st half performance. Barnsley actually had some really good chances and Kepa made some key saves to keep us in the game. The only players that I thought did well in the 1st half were Gilmour, and Christensen.
Christensen, and Alonso came off at half time for Tino Anjorin, and Reece James as we switched to a back four. The switch worked as Chelsea got hold of the ball and began to pin Barnsley in their own half. The winning goal came in the 64th minute as Reece James assisted Tammy for a tap in. Kepa made some good saves once again but Chelsea held on for the 3 points as Kovacic, and Rudiger came on to see off the game.
Chelsea Team Review
A good game for Kepa, his passing was really good, and apart from one corner incident he looked assured. Pulled of some good saves to keep us in the game. A clean sheet is all that Kepa can ask for and he got that.
The defence was had some problems when faced with the press of Barnsley but they managed it well. Christensen took a slight knock to the head and had to come off but the rest all did a good job. No one stood out but Zouma was particularly solid once again.
Kante struggled as he looks to be regaining fitness. The Frenchman doesn’t seem 100% up to task yet. Gilmour did a good job during the game and was lively. The midfield did face problems with the press but we settled in during the 2nd half. Kovacic and Anjorin just added a bit of strength going forward. Anjorin looked lively but his final ball was lacking.
Pulisic had a quite game as the pitch and the press didn’t help him find space. Ziyech also didn’t have a great game as our wingers apart from Hudson-Odoi struggle to find form. Tammy was good and got another goal to add to his tally this season.
Tuchel did a good job changing the tactics in game to give Chelsea an advantage during the 2nd half. It’s good to see that he likes to make changes at half time if things aren’t working. It’s another win for him and progression in the FA Cup. For now that’s all he probably wants.