After Liverpool qualified against Manchester City on Saturday afternoon, Chelsea faced Crystal Palace, still on the same sunny pitch at Wembley, in the second semi-final of the 150th edition of the FA Cup. The Blues, reigning European champions but eliminated by Real Madrid in the last Champions League, wanted to save their changeable end of the season with a national cup final. For their part, the Eagles stagnated in the soft underbelly of the championship and had an opportunity to get closer to their first crowning glory in the history of the competition. In addition to Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze, Patrick Vieira trusted his compatriot Jean-Philippe Mateta to lead his attack. For his part, Thomas Tuchel benched N’Golo Kanté and preferred Mateo Kovacic with Jorginho in midfield.
Apparently not having forgotten the outcome of the cup with big ears, the Blues, dressed in yellow for the occasion, showed no great offensive intentions, if not aggressiveness in the last third. Injured in the encounter, Kovacic even had to give up his place on the field to Ruben Loftus-Cheek (26th). On the contrary, the men of the 1998 World Champion did not hide and even created the best opportunity of the first third: Cheikhou Kouyaté made a flat conversion entering the penalty area, deflected well by Édouard Mendy, who scored a second time the close-range shot by Joachim Andersen, who was finally ruled offside (36′). The London derby ended in a goalless draw at the break.
After returning from the dressing room, the former Paris Saint-Germain coach walked with the same eleven players and waited for them to electrocute them. Mason Mount tried to flesh out his men’s reaction, but his goal went wide of Jack Butland’s goals (49′). On the Palace side, Vieira brought on former Marseillaise Jordan Ayew to keep the pressure on the opposition defence, but to no avail. But with another corner kick, Kouyaté could have fooled a motionless Mendy if his shot in the helmet hadn’t grazed the Blues’ right post (61′). Chelsea succeeded after an hour: after a low cross from Kai Havertz who was pushed back, the incoming Loftus-Cheek took the ball perfectly to fool the England keeper, well supported by the Andersen defense (1 -0.65e) .
A not undeserved start considering the men in yellow were dominating the game and pushing Crystal Palace back in the last 30 yards. The Blues saw the Eagles take the field to come back to score and used the gaps in their defense’s backs to worry the CPFC rearguard. Mason Mount finally doubled the lead against a low block: the Englishman eliminated Andersen thanks to his targeted control, the Englishman found Butland’s small left net to break (2-0, 76th). Coming into play, Lukaku was even able to seal the fate of the encounter, but his resumption of the middle by Timo Werner hit the post before the Palace defense countered the resumption of the right foot by Hakim Ziyech (90′). The result didn’t change until the final whistle: Chelsea joined Liverpool in the final of that FA Cup, scheduled for May 14 at Wembley, in a bid to win the ninth FA Cup in their history.