Chelsea continued their quest for an ninth FA Cup as they recovered from a lacklustre first half to see off Leicester City. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the 1-0 win in the quarter-final at the King Power Stadium.
Willy Caballero: 7
He was alert from the off and had to be as Leicester dominated early on. Caballero made a couple of decent saves and commanded his area well until a late flap where he completely missed a cross almost resulted in an equaliser.
Reece James: 6
James showed good strength and defended reasonably well when the play was in front of him but was unable to show his ability in the opposition third and paid the price for a sloppy Chelsea performance in the first half as boss Frank Lampard made a triple change.
Antonio Rudiger: 5
The German was caught out by a couple of well-directed free-kicks, and looked both unsure in his work at the back and casual on the ball for much of the tie.
Kurt Zouma: 5
Having been preferred to Andreas Christensen, partly no doubt to help deal with the pace of Jamie Vardy, Zouma looked uncomfortable throughout. He was shaky in his defending – albeit he made some excellent interventions and blocks after the break – and in possession when Chelsea were crying out for a ball-playing centre-half to help free up space in midfield.
Emerson Palmieri: 6
He was the pick of an average defensive quartet before the interval and remained a steady presence.
N’Golo Kante: 7
Kante made some timely interceptions but, unusually, was often second-best before half-time in a combative midfield where space was at a premium. He was much more like his normal self thereafter, matching the Leicester pressing game and winning his tussles.
Billy Gilmour: 5
The teenage Scot made a couple of poor early passes that could easily have led to goals and continued to struggle to find his targets as the midfield struggled to cope with Leicester’s relentless pressing. But Gilmour never shirked responsibility and had a couple of good moments before making way at the break.
Unspectacular in the main but fulfilled his defensive duties and crucially his clever cross teed up the only goal.
Mason Mount: 5
Once again Mount showed he has the all-round game even on a tough afternoon, combining work-rate with decent touch and some impressive runs forward which came to nothing. He struggled at times though. His half-time substitution was also perhaps a reflection of the team’s display and his efforts in the two league games as well as his own below-par performance.
Christian Pulisic: 8
The American winger was in fine form again and the biggest attacking threat on the pitch. The Foxes never coped with his pace or ability. His first thought was always to take the direct route to goal. However, he should have made it 1-0 in the first half but elected to blast his shot when any sort of reasonable placement would have stopped Kasper Schmeichel making a brilliant reaction save.
Tammy Abraham: 7
An afternoon where the England striker saw very little of the ball but his concentration never dipped and he showed his quality when presented with a couple of chances in the second half, notably when his excellent strike across goal was rightly ruled offside.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8
A steadying influence in the second period, Azpilicueta settled those around him and made a significant contribution in a much-improved performance.
Ross Barkley: 7
Barkley was mightily impressive up until and including his fine finish For the winning goal, but was then increasingly wayward with his passing. He was also guilty of not making the most of a four-on-two counter-attack, which would have avoided a nervy finale.
Mateo Kovacic: 8
The Croatian followed his superb midweek cameo in the win over Manchester City with another excellent appearance from the bench. Kovavic led the revival, snapping into tackles and implementing the changes demanded by boss Frank Lampard.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 6
Another important run-out for Loftus-Cheek, who looked sharper than he did against Aston Villa but still needs plenty of minutes to get anywhere near his best.
Typically busy in his late appearance, the Spaniard upped the tempo again when replacing Willian.