Chelsea booked their place in the FA Cup final on Saturday night and beat Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley Stadium.
The first half was a close affair, although the Blues thought they had taken an early lead when Hakim Ziyech struck home, but the goal was withdrawn for an offside call earlier in the build-up. Ben Chilwell hit a volley wide as Chelsea continued to threaten, but Cityzens grew to hold on for the first 45 minutes.
⚡ HAKIM ZIYECH STRIKES ⚡ # EmiratesFACup @ChelseaFC pic.twitter.com/vRv1D8gUy9
– Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) April 17, 2021
Thomas Tuchel’s men found the breakthrough in the 55th minute, when Timo Werner flashed past the Man City defense and squared the ball to Ziyech, who rolled happily into an empty net. Pep Guardiola’s side has since dominated, but Chelsea stood firm and kept the opportunities to a minimum.
Christian Pulisic fired past Zack Steffen in injury time, but his fine effort was interrupted by another offside flag. However, Chelsea held on to defeat Man City and book their place in the FA Cup final for the second time in two seasons.
Okay, let’s continue with the players’ ratings.
Putting on the lids | Pool / Getty Images
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – 7/10 – Picked a couple of early crosses out of the air with authority to get a feel for the game. Didn’t really have many shots to save, as Man City struggled to get efforts on goal.
Cesar Azpilicueta (CB) – 7/10 – Sent the ball directly to Torres in the box, but did well by blocking De Bruyne’s post. Usually fixed otherwise.
Thiago Silva (CB) – 8/10 – Insured first half when Man City struggled to get into any roads. Do not give Jesus a snuff during the whole match. Another leader on the back.
Antonio Rudiger (CB) – 8/10 – Strong and aggressive in the tackle and keeps Torres extremely quiet. Remained determined, no matter who Man City rotated on their flank.
Land of the Giants | BEN STANSALL / Getty Images
Reece James (RWB) – 8/10 – Flashed a shot from range. Picked up a yellow card shortly after picking up Fernandinho. Brilliant solid against the offensive Mendy and did not give Sterling a sniff.
N’Golo Kante (CM) – 7/10 – Hounded Man City midfield, pops up to close all spaces. A solid first half. Showed some cute details to pinch the ball and make Chelsea move. Same old.
Jorginho (CM) – 8/10 – Went excellently to block De Bruyne’s passing lanes and protected the three backs with precision and caution. Imperious to break up Man City’s game in Chelsea’s final third.
Ben Chilwell (LWB) – 7/10 – Wasted a brilliant chance at the far post in 19 minutes and ran a volley harmlessly by. Should at least hit the target. Defensively convincing.
On the points side | Pool / Getty Images
Hakim Ziyech (RW) – 8/10 – Was fired into the net early, but his strike was ruled out for an offside break in the build-up. Moved to the left and caused Cancelo all sorts of problems. Knocked home from Werner’s selflessness. Fluffed his lines shortly after. Match winner.
Timo Werner (ST) – 8/10 – Set the chance to break the deadlock, but was caught a fraction before the defensive line. A warning shot. Brilliant movement and pass to help the opener – no mistake with his run this time.
Mason Mount (LW) – 7/10 – Drove in the Man City defense, changed the speed of play and showed how urgent it was to scare his opponents. Brilliant pass to feed Werner behind for the first goal. Super.
Under | Fran Santiago / Getty Images
Christian Pulisic (LW) – 6/10
Kai Havertz (ST) – 6/10
Emerson (LW) – 6/10
Kurt Zouma (CB) – Not applicable
Calm on the ball | Pool / Getty Images
Zack Steffen (GK) – 5/10 – Made a safe enough start while Chelsea looked to find an early breakthrough. This trust was lost when he was captured in no man’s land and left behind while Ziyech struck home.
Joao Cancelo (RB) – 5/10 – Extremely uncomfortable 90 minutes for the slopes. Caught from position two or three times by Ziyech. Not in shots that Man City admitted. Discovered?
Ruben Dias (CB) – 5/10 – Saw much less safe next to Cancelo and Laporte. Completely find lack after Werner’s driving and pace for the opener. Almost gifted Chelsea for a second by missing wiretapping. On the way from close up.
Aymeric Laporte (CB) – 6/10 – It was not possible to cut Werner’s square ball over the goal, but was lucky to see the flag go up for offside. Again nowhere to be seen when Ziyech knocked home.
Benjamin Mendy (LB) – 6/10 – Didn’t seem to offer any kind of defensive presence when trying to stop players from attacking down the wing. Not perfect for a defender.
Big tackles | IAN WALTON / Getty Images
Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – 6/10 – Dropped deep in the search for holdings and to avoid Kante’s radar. Picked up an injury shortly after half time and had to be replaced. Worrying about Man City’s trophy ambitions.
Fernandinho (CM) – 6/10 – Brought the ball up on the field and added an extra defensive body in the middle of the park. Not at its best against a very mobile Chelsea.
Rodri (CM) – 6/10 – Tracked back to cover his defense and always saw to pass vertically. Did not have a big impact on the game but continued to study away.
Concerned | Pool / Getty Images
Ferran Torres (RW) – 4/10 – Offered valuable little during the first half, competed behind once, but he could not get a toe on the through ball. So anonymous and rightly replaced.
Gabriel Jesus (ST) – 5/10 – Just not on the same wavelength as his teammates, and did not give Guardiola what he would have wanted. Did not attack the areas that a clinical attacker would hunt.
Raheem Sterling (LW) – 6/10 – Showed some nice footwork to turn away from the cursor on a couple of occasions. Destroyed some dangerous attacks with a poor finish. Av koka.
48. Kev makes room for @PhilFoden … let’s hope the Belgian is okay! ?
? 0-0? #ManCity | https://t.co/axa0klUGiM pic.twitter.com/WGvVc9mArv
– Manchester City (@ManCity) April 17, 2021
Phil Foden (CM) – 7/10
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 6/10