Not the most flashy game but job done!
Chelsea welcomed struggling Sheffield United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the FA Cup quarter-final. Tuchel made 9 changes to the team that faced Atletico. Kepa started in goal with Christensen, Zouma, and Emerson making up the back 3. Hudson-Odoi, and Chilwell started as the wing backs while Kovacic, and Gilmour made up the midfield 2. Mount started along with Pulisic, and Giroud up front. It was a good lineup and one that had plenty of quality to get the win against Sheffield United.
Sheffield United started the game well and they actually pressed Chelsea up high. Chelsea with so many changes in the team were sloppy in possession and the fluidity was missing. For around 20 minutes it was a good game from Sheffield United but Chelsea finally got the lead in the 24th minute. Chilwell found space on the left and smashed the ball towards goal which caught a deflection from Norwood and gave Chelsea the lead. Chelsea didn’t create many chances for the rest of the half though but we held on to the lead.
The 2nd half saw Sheffield United once again start well, as they actually created chances and Kepa was forced into some good saves. Reece James and Azpilicueta came on in the 63rd minute as Chelsea were struggling. The two though found it hard to settle into the game as McGoldrick dribbled past Azplicueta to get a shot at Kepa. Ziyech and Havertz then came on in the 72nd minute and they added some fluidity up front for Chelsea to dictate the game once again. Kante came on in the 83rd minute to patrol the midfield for the final few minutes. Chelsea looked comfortable in the final few minutes and Sheffield United had a chance to get the equaliser in the 90th minute. Ziyech then went down the other end and found a cross from Chilwell to finish past Ramsdale in the 92nd minute. 2-0 and job done as Chelsea sealed a place in the semi’s and an appearance at Wembley.
Chelsea Team Review
Kepa get’s a 3rd clean sheet as he had a solid game in goal. Made some good saves to keep Chelsea ahead while the distribution was quite good. The confidence and stability seems to be helping everyone and that includes Kepa. A solid game from him.
The good thing to see is that we are rotating and still keeping clean sheets at the back. This time it was Christensen, Zouma, and Emerson at the back and they handled the game well. Azpilicueta came on in the 2nd had half to replace Christensen. Emerson impressed me in the back 3 while Zouma and Christensen also made some game saving tackles during the game. Chilwell did well on the left hand side and was one of the best players on the pitch. Reece James came on in the 2nd half to see out the game.
Kovacic, and Gilmour had a decent game and Gilmour looked better as the game went on. Billy played some good forward passes and always kept the ball ticking. Kante came on in the 2nd half to see out the game. Mount had a decent game as captain for Chelsea but it looked like he was tired and needed a break. Havertz came on in the 2nd half as well and once again looked good as he led the line and dropped into the empty spaces. A decent outing from all players involved.
Pulisic was one of our better players and he showed glimpses of his best form. There was a chance where he went through after nicking the ball but he slipped in front of goal. There was another moment when he dribbled past 3 players with an Elastico but his shot was saved by Ramsdale. A good outing from him. Giroud was isolated in the 1st half and didn’t make the impact he wanted in the game. Hudson-Odoi didn’t have the best of games as a wing back this time and lacked the impact. Just an off day. Ziyech had a solid cameo once again and that’s 2 goals in 2 games with this one being a brilliant finish to silence his haters.
Tuchel makes it 14 games unbeaten since he signed. It’s 12 clean sheets in that period as he caps off a brilliant start to life at Chelsea. Into the semi’s of the FA Cup to add to the CL and top four progression. Not job done yet but it’s a good start.
Chelsea end a tough and testing period of games looking good going into the final period of the season. It’s a 2 week break from club football now but several players will be heading for the national team. Time for Tuchel to relax and maybe find out out how we can maximise that attack for the run in after 2 weeks. COME ON CHELSEA!!!