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Player ratings as Chelsea seals FA cup final spot Again

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SPORTS NEWS: Player ratings as Chelsea seals FA cup final spot Again [New Sports News] » Naijacrawl
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Edouard Mendy 7/10

Chelsea's first-choice goalkeeper, somewhat surprisingly, kept his place ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Mendy was needed in the first half to deny a low drive from Crystal Palace midfielder Kouyate, whose effort from 20 yards was destined for the bottom corner.



The Senegal international didn't have much to do in the second period as the defence in front of him kept Palace at bay.


Reece James 8/10

Ahead of kick-off, there was debate as to where James would start. It quickly became clear as the teams lined up that the academy graduate would continue on the right of the back three, almost certainly to negate the threat of Wilfried Zaha. That proved the correct call as for the second game in succession, James again locked down his side of the pitch.


Andreas Christensen 7/10

With Thiago Silva playing every game since the international break, it wasn't a huge surprise that Christensen returned in the heart of the Chelsea defence. And despite certain supporters feeling that the Dane shouldn't be playing given he has reportedly agreed a pre-contract with Barcelona, he was one of the Blues' standout players in the opening period and made three important interceptions to halt Palace attacks. He was caught out once in the 76th minute but James was there to cover. 


Antonio Rudiger 8/10

The German was the least active of Chelsea's centre-backs in the first half as Palace attempted to counter down the opposite flank through Zaha. After the break, Rudiger had his usual shot from 25 yards that went wide and defensively covered Christensen on the rare occasion the academy graduate was pulled out wide. He also won a big tackle in the build-up to Mount's goal.


Cesar Azpilicueta 7/10

With James at right centre-back, it was left to Chelsea's club captain to patrol the right flank. The Spaniard was quiet in the first half as the Blues struggled to find a way through the Palace defence and focused the majority of their attacks down the Eagles' left. That remained the case after the break but Azpilicueta was reliable when called upon defensively.


Jorginho 6/10

The Italian was brought back into the side having only played the final 15 minutes of the midweek clash in the Bernabeu. He should have been fresh but that did not appear the case in the opening period. Jorginho was sluggish in possession and almost gifted Palace an opportunity after being dispossessed in his own half around the 30-minute mark.

Jorginho improved a little after the interval as Chelsea controlled possession.


Mateo Kovacic 6/10

After his outstanding performance against Real Madrid, it was no surprise that Kovacic kept his place in the starting XI for this afternoon's game. Unfortunately, the Croatian suffered an early injury and despite attempting to play through the pain, was forced off after just 26 minutes. 


Marcos Alonso 7/10

The Spaniard was far more assured in midweek against Real Madrid and it was no surprise he kept his place despite the threat of Eberechi Eze and later Michael Olise. Alonso defended well when called upon – something that hasn't always been the case in his Chelsea career – but didn't have big say in the attacking third. 


Mason Mount 8/10

With three goals and two assists in Chelsea's previous two matches, it was no surprise that Mount started once more in Tuchel's attack. Yet he wasn't able to have a huge influence as Palace sat deep and frustrated the Blues, although Mount did force Butland into a save with a cross-cum-shot.


It was more of the same in the second period for the academy graduate, though not for the lack of trying. But with 14 minutes left to play, Timo Werner was able to pick out Mount on the edge of the Palace box and he took the ball in stride before finishing beyond Butland calmly. 


Kai Havertz 8/10

With Romelu Lukaku not fit to start – and his form not deserving of being thrust back into the side – it was left to Havertz to again lead the line., but the German struggled to get on the ball in the opening 45 minutes and only had one effort on goal which was easily saved by Jack Butland.


Havertz showed more vigour in the second period as he moved across the frontline and probed the Palace defence. Yet still, the German international couldn't quite make the same impact he has managed in recent weeks. Was brought off with 13 minutes to play. 


Timo Werner 8/10

Tuchel hinted that Werner would start once more during his pre-match press conference and that proved the case. In a turgid first half, Werner did produce a couple of positive surges to the byline but wasn't able to fashion an opportunity for one of his Chelsea teammates.


Substitutes

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (for Mateo Kovacic, 26) 8/10

Needed the remainder of the first half to get up to speed after being thrown into the game. But after the break, Loftus-Cheek was excellent and deserved his goal to open the scoring – a fine drive from the edge of the Palace box. 


Hakim Ziyech (for Mason Mount, 77) 6/10

Given the final 13 minutes, the Moroccan worked Butland with a shot from distance and posed a threat. 


N'Golo Kante (for Jorginho, 77) 7/10

Didn't have too much to do but helped Chelsea see the game out. 


Romelu Lukaku (for Kai Havertz, 77) 5/10

Brought on to kill the game, Lukaku had a huge opportunity but struck the post from six yards out. 


Thiago Silva (for Andreas Christensen, 82) 5/10

A small cameo from the Brazilian as Chelsea got over the line.

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