Saturday, October 31, 2020

Chelsea’s Road to the FA Cup

Chelsea’s FA Cup victory – Round by round

Chelsea won the 2018 FA Cup over the weekend, but how did they get to winning the cup? Here is a round by round review of how Chelsea won the 8th FA Cup in their club’s history.

Round 3
Norwich City 0 – 0 Chelsea

Chelsea started their FA Cup campaign away at Carrow Road, where a much changed Chelsea side struggled to break through Norwich’s defence. The game had Chelsea limit Norwich to no shots on target, but they struggled to score themselves. The team looked to players like Alvaro Morata late on, but he struggled to make an impact coming in so late into the game. Ultimately, the team struggled to overcome a spirited Norwich side and the Canaries earned themselves a replay at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea 1 – 1 Norwich City AET (5-3 on penalties) Replay

After a 0-0 draw in the first match, the replay delivered more goals and more excitement. Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi put the Blues ahead in the 55th minute. Norwich defender Jamal Lewis scored a last minute equaliser, pushing the game to extra time. An eventful extra period resulted in a penalty not given to Willian. He was given a yellow card for what referee Graham Scott deemed a dive. Replays show he was clearly caught. Two red cards were issued for Chelsea players. Chelsea found themselves going into the end of the match with 9 men after Pedro and Morata were sent off. Chelsea scored their 5 penalties and were helped b Willy Caballero’s penalty saving ability in the shootout.

Round 4
Chelsea 3 – 0 Newcastle United 

After limited opportunities in the league, Michy Batshuayi took his chance to score 2 against Newcastle in the FA Cup. Chelsea looked like the stronger team throughout the match, dominating possession during the game. A strong Chelsea performance ensured Newcastle looked like a weak side. Marcos Alonso added another goal to make it 3-0 with an expertly struck free kick. A comfortable performance saw Chelsea go through to the 5th round.

Round 5 
Chelsea 4 – 0 Hull City

Getting through against Norwich City and Newcastle, Chelsea were rewarded with another fixture against Championship opposition. Hull City travelled to London to take on Chelsea in the 5th round, only to be outplayed with Chelsea coming through as comfortable winners. Willian put in a solid performance, scoring 2 against the Tigers. Pedro got on the end of an excellent pass from Cesc Fabregas to calmly slot it past the Hull keeper. Olivier Giroud also scored his first goal for the club to round off the evening. A strong 4-0 performance, while also resting players ahead of their match against Barcelona, ensured the team were to see the quarter finals of the FA Cup.

Quarter Final
Leicester City 1 – 2 Chelsea AET

This game proved to be more of a test for Chelsea. After comfortably getting through the previous two rounds, the team found themselves up against a determined Leicester side. Chelsea had to find an extra level of determination in order to survive the threat posed by the Leicester side. After going ahead through Alvaro Morata’s opener, Jamie Vardy scored almost 10 minutes from time in order to push the game to extra time. Chelsea’s Pedro added a second for the team in extra time, which saw them through to the semi final at Wembley.

Semi Final
Chelsea 2 – 0 Southampton

An excellent goal from Olivier Giroud opened the scoring against a Southampton side which ultimately fell short of the final. Giroud displayed some wonderful footwork in order to create a clear scoring chance. He waltzed through the Southampton defence, firing the ball into what ended up being an empty net. Late into the game, Giroud was taken off for Morata. Morata added a second goal late on to secure Chelsea’s second successive FA Cup final appearance. Chelsea lost to Arsenal in the 2017 FA Cup final. This set up a meeting between Conte’s Chelsea and Mourinho’s United in the final.

FA Cup Final
Chelsea 1 – 0 Manchester United

Chelsea pulled off a spirited win in what could be Antonio Conte’s last game in charge of the club. The team looked like the better side early on, with Manchester United struggling to get into the game. It only got worse for United when Phil Jones mistimed his tackle to give Chelsea a penalty. Eden Hazard comfortably put it past De Gea to make it 1-0. Chelsea did not look as strong in the second half, but held on to ensure the team lifted an 8th FA Cup title

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