Football

Chelsea beat Man City to secure their place in FA Cup final

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Chelsea beat Man City to secure their place in FA Cup final

Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 on Saturday to secure a spot for the FA Cup final next month thanks to a second-half goal from Hakim Ziyech.

The victory prolonged a remarkable turnaround since manager Thomas Tuchel took over as coach of the Blues in January.

In contrast, city manager Pep Guardiola – who made eight changes to the squad that beat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in midweek – saw his dream of leading them to an unprecedented quadruple of titles take end.

Eight-time FA Cup winners Chelsea will face Leicester City or Southampton, who will play their semi-final on Sunday, in the flagship match on May 15.

This will be the Stamford Bridge side’s fourth appearance in the final in the past five seasons.

Ziyech scored in the 55th minute when he tapped an empty net on a Timo Werner’s cross with city goalkeeper Zack Steffen in no man’s land.

This was after he left his line to shut Werner down, but then seemed to change his mind.

“You always have to have the feeling before the game that you want to score,” said the Moroccan winger – who struggled to regain his form after arriving at Stamford Bridge from Ajax Amsterdam last year – to journalists.

“It was a good delivery and I put it together easily,” he said.

City’s Steffen made amends minutes later when his stretched leg upset Ziyech when the forward looked certain to score a second goal after a poor defense from City.

The victory in an empty Wembley stadium, with fans not allowed to attend, due to COVID-19 restrictions, leaves Tuchel looking for two trophies with the Blues also in the Champions League semi-finals where they face Real Madrid.

The German, who replaced Frank Lampard after a form collapse from the Londoners, foiled Guardiola with his game plan, focusing on capturing City with quick wing counterattacks, one of which provided the decisive moment.

City’s woes were compounded by the loss of midfielder Kevin de Bruyne early in the second half with an apparent ankle injury which Guardiola said “probably doesn’t look very good”.

Runaway Premier League leaders City could still win a triple trophy this season as they return to Wembley for the League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday.

They will also face Paris St Germain in the Champions League semi-final. (Reuters / NAN)

(NAN)

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