Chelsea put an end to Manchester City’s hopes of a historic quadruple when they played a highly competitive FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
City and Chelsea had both secured their spots in the final four of the Champions League this week – but Pep Guardiola’s side had a unique stretch of four trophies in their sights as they neared the Premier League title and here in the Premier too League against Tottenham started the League Cup final on April 25th.
Chelsea had other ideas, however, and they deserved the win they won when Hakim Ziyech shoved Timo Werner’s pass home in the 55th minute to advance to an FA Cup final against Leicester City or Southampton.
Ziyech had ruled out an offside goal before scoring, but that was enough to beat a sluggish city that made eight changes to their Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund and now has the added concern of Kevin De Bruyne injured limps off the second half.
Chelsea had a very late night scare when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga scratched Rodri’s header away in added time, but manager Thomas Tuchel can now reflect on an extremely satisfying week as his impressive start at Stamford Bridge picks up pace.
Chelsea ends a great week in style
Four of Hakim Ziyech’s five goals for Chelsea came in the cup competition
Tuchel was facing a big week as his good start to life at Chelsea would be further marked by the Champions League quarter-finals against Porto ahead of this FA Cup semi-final with a Manchester City team chasing all four big trophies.
No wonder the Chelsea German coach smiled brightly at the final whistle as this part of his mission was accomplished in an outstanding manner.
City was sent off after Porto was beaten over the legs to leave Chelsea at the height of their season and contemplate a Champions League semi-final against Liverpool conquerors Real Madrid and an FA Cup final.
Nobody could grant them this victory, as Chelsea showed more sense and drive from the first whistle than a tedious and greatly changed team from the city.
Ziyech’s pace and aiming power troubled City from the start, and it was fitting that the man of the game slipped from Werner’s pass into the winner, the latter receiving his reward for tireless work.
Organizational, efficient and threatening, this Chelsea team took the chance to reach the climax of a difficult silverware season.
Man City are running out of energy and inspiration
Pep Guardiola has always downplayed the chances of all four major trophies winning – the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.
And he was right when City finally ran out of energy and inspiration at Wembley.
City is back in eight days to play Spurs in the league cup final. The Premier League is practically sewn and in the semi-finals of the Champions League it meets Paris St-Germain.
This still has the potential to be a great campaign – the most spectacular and successful in Manchester City history – but there won’t be a quadruple.
Guardiola made eight changes here after the away win against Borussia Dortmund, although the team he had sent could hardly be described as weakened.
The city just lacked a spark. Raheem Sterling has been re-subjugated and Guardiola will eagerly await the medical report on the injured De Bruyne.
Guardiola has great faith in Ederson’s deputy Zack Steffen, his FA Cup keeper, but he got trapped in no man’s land trying to solve the problem caused by Werner’s goal-scoring.
The bottom line is that even a great team like Manchester City can’t get results every time – and this was one of those days.
“We wanted to be brave” – what they said
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel in conversation with BBC Sport: “It was a very, very strong performance. I am very happy and proud.
“We played an excellent 35 minutes in the first half. We had to suffer for 10 minutes. We played so well for another 30 minutes and took the lead and could have got another one. I’m very proud of my team.
“A good defense also has ball and possession. It’s a very good goal. We weren’t lucky enough to get away with a goal, we worked hard for it.
“The boys are ready to cover each other if someone loses a duel. We wanted to be brave with the ball and against the ball today and we did it.”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola in conversation with BBC Sport: “We have played well in the last 15 minutes. We struggled to find our place in our pockets but we congratulate Chelsea on a close game.
“We got into that position sometimes, but then we didn’t make it. We conceded the goal, but after we reacted well, especially after Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan came on.”
“The team that defends in the last period with eight players is not easy. The advantage in this type of game is so small. In general, we controlled well. We didn’t create many clear chances, but we arrived more than they did . ” “”
Ten Kevin De Bruyne: “It doesn’t look good, he’s in pain. We’ll see. Tomorrow he’ll have a test.”
Tuchel’s special landmark
- Chelsea have made it to the FA Cup final in four of the last five seasons – only Arsenal (21) and Manchester United (20) have made it to the showcase of competition multiple times than Chelsea (15).
- Chelsea boss Tuchel was the first German coach to reach the English FA Cup final.
- Manchester City have now been eliminated in the semi-finals in three of their five seasons under Guardiola, and the team knocked them out the other two times to win the competition (Arsenal in 2017 and 2020).
- Since Tuchel’s first game against Chelsea in January, the Blues have conceded more goals in all competitions than any other team in the top five European leagues (14).
- Chelsea have played 14 clean sheets in 19 games in all competitions under Tuchel, one more than under Frank Lampard in 29 games this season.
- Four of Ziyech’s five goals for Chelsea were scored in cup competition, while three of his five goals for the Blues were supported by Werner.
- Werner has been involved in 19 goals in all competitions this season (10 goals, 9 assists), at least three more than any other Chelsea player.
- His eleventh appearance for Man City in all competitions was the first time goalkeeper Zack Steffen ended up on the losing side after winning each of his first 10 games for the club.
Chelsea will be in action next when Brighton visits the Premier League on Tuesday April 20th (8:00 p.m. CET).
Manchester City will travel to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday, April 21 (8:15 p.m. CET) before returning to Wembley for the Carabao Cup final against Tottenham on Sunday, April 25 (4:30 p.m. CET).
Player of the game
- 28AzpilicuetaBooked at 90 minutes
- 6thThiago SilvaReplaced byZoumaat the 88 ‘protocol
- 24JamesBooked at 34 minutes
- 22ndZiyechReplaced byEmersonat the 79 ‘protocol
- 19thAssembleReplaced byPulisicat the 70 ‘protocol
- 11WernerReplaced byHavertzat the 79 ‘protocol
- 3Rúben DiasBooked at 90 minutes
- 14thLaporteBooked at 90 minutes
- 25thFernandinhoBooked at 63 minutes
- 21TorresReplaced byGündoganat the 64 ‘protocol
- 17thDe BruyneReplaced byFodenat the 48 ‘protocol
- 9Gabriel Jesus
- 2Walking aid
- 20thBernardo Silva
End of the game, Chelsea 1, Manchester City 0.
The second half ends, Chelsea 1, Manchester City 0.
Rúben Dias (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Rodrigo (Manchester City).
Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Rodrigo’s (Manchester City) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the lower left corner. Assisted by Phil Foden with a cross.
Corner of Manchester City. The corner was conceded by César Azpilicueta.
Attempt blocked. Rodrigo (Manchester City) has a header from the center of the box blocked. Assisted by Ruben Dias with a cross.
Offside Chelsea. Emerson attempts a pass, but Christian Pulisic is caught offside.
Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City).
César Azpilicueta (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
César Azpilicueta (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card.
Phil Foden (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).
Phil Foden (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).
Substitution, Chelsea. Kurt Zouma replaces Thiago Silva due to an injury.
Foul by Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City).
Reece James (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.