Chelsea booked their place in the FA Cup final on Saturday evening, beating Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley Stadium.
The first half was a tight affair, although the Blues thought they’d taken an early lead when Hakim Ziyech slotted home, but the goal was pulled back for an offside call earlier in the buildup. Ben Chilwell scuffed a volley wide as Chelsea continued to threaten, but the Cityzens grew to hold their own in the first 45 minutes.
Thomas Tuchel’s men found the breakthrough on 55 minutes, when Timo Werner blitzed beyond the Man City defence and squared the ball to Ziyech, who rolled gleefully into an empty net. Pep Guardiola’s side dominated possession from then on, but Chelsea stood firm and kept opportunities to a minimum.
Christian Pulisic fired beyond Zack Steffen in injury time, but his fine effort was cancelled out 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.
Right, let’s get on with the player ratings.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – 7/10 – Plucked 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 target.
Cesar Azpilicueta (CB) – 7/10 – Headed the ball straight to Torres in the box, but made amends by blocking De Bruyne’s cross. Typically solid otherwise.
Thiago Silva (CB) – 8/10 – Assured first half as Man City struggled to make any inroads. Didn’t give Jesus a sniff throughout the match. Another leader at the back.
Antonio Rudiger (CB) – 8/10 – Strong and aggressive in the tackle, keeping Torres extremely quiet. Remained resolute, no matter who Man City rotated onto his flank.
Reece James (RWB) – 8/10 – Flashed a shot wide from range. Picked up a yellow card soon after for hauling down Fernandinho. Brilliantly solid against the offensive Mendy and didn’t give Sterling a sniff.
N’Golo Kante (CM) – 7/10 – Hounded Man City’s midfield, popping up to close down any space. A solid first half. Showed some cute touches to pinch the ball and get Chelsea moving. Same old.
Jorginho (CM) – 8/10 – Did excellently to block De Bruyne’s passing lanes, shielding the back three with precision and caution. Imperious in breaking up Man City’s play in Chelsea’s final third.
Ben Chilwell (LWB) – 7/10 – Wasted a glorious chance at the far post on 19 minutes, shinning a volley harmlessly wide. Should be hitting the target, at least. Defensively convincing.
Hakim Ziyech (RW) – 8/10 – Fired into the net early on, but his strike was ruled out for an offside offence in the buildup. Floated to the left and caused Cancelo all sorts of problems. Tapped home from Werner’s selflessness. Fluffed his lines soon after. Match-winner.
Timo Werner (ST) – 8/10 – Set up the chance to break the deadlock, but was caught a fraction ahead of the defensive line. A warning shot. Brilliant movement and pass to assist the opener – no mistake with his run this time.
Mason Mount (LW) – 7/10 – Drove at the Man City defence, changing the pace of play and showing the urgency needed to frighten their opponents. Brilliant pass to feed Werner in behind for the first goal. Super.
Christian Pulisic (LW) – 6/10
Kai Havertz (ST) – 6/10
Emerson (LW) – 6/10
Kurt Zouma (CB) – N/A
Zack Steffen (GK) – 5/10 – Made a confident enough start while Chelsea looked to find an early breakthrough. That confidence drained when he was caught in no-man’s land and was left stranded while Ziyech slotted home.
Joao Cancelo (RB) – 5/10 – Extremely uncomfortable 90 minutes for the full-back. Caught out of position two or three times by Ziyech. Not in shot as Man City conceded. Found out?
Ruben Dias (CB) – 5/10 – Looked far less secure next to Cancelo and Laporte. Completely find wanting by Werner’s run and pace for the opener. Almost gifted Chelsea a second by missing an interception. Headed over from close range.
Aymeric Laporte (CB) – 6/10 – Failed to cut out Werner’s square ball across goal, but got lucky to see the flag go up for offside. Once again nowhere to be seen as Ziyech tapped home.
Benjamin Mendy (LB) – 6/10 – Didn’t seem to offer any sort of defensive presence when trying to stop players from attacking down his flank. Not ideal for a defender.
Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – 6/10 – Dropped deep in search of possession and to avoid Kante’s radar. Picked up an injury just after half-time and had to be substituted. Worrying for Man City’s trophy ambitions.
Fernandinho (CM) – 6/10 – Carried the ball up the pitch, and added an extra defensive-minded body to the centre of the park. Not at his best against a very mobile Chelsea.
Rodri (CM) – 6/10 – Tracked back to cover his defence and always looked to pass vertically. Didn’t have a great impact on the game but kept plugging away.
Ferran Torres (RW) – 4/10 – Offered precious little in the first half, racing in behind once, but he couldn’t get a toe on the through ball. So anonymous, and rightly substituted.
Gabriel Jesus (ST) – 5/10 – Just not on the same wavelength as his teammates, and didn’t give Guardiola what he would have wanted. Didn’t attack the areas a clinical striker should hunt.
Raheem Sterling (LW) – 6/10 – Showed some neat footwork to wriggle free from his marker on a couple of occasions. Ruined a few dangerous attacks with a poor final pass. Off the boil.
Phil Foden (CM) – 7/10
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 6/10