Barkley’s goal clinches semi-final place for Chelsea


Ross Barkley’s second-half goal was enough to give Chelsea a place in the FA Cup semi-final.

Barkley was one of three substitutes introduced by Frank Lampard at half-time and the midfielder repaid his manager’s faith with a well taken finish in the 63rd minute.

A dismal first-half showing left much to be desired but it was the Blues that nearly took the lead with their only attempt of the half.

Mason Mount combined with Christian Pulisic and the latter forced an excellent save from Kasper Schmeichel but that was as good as it got for the visitors.

Lampard was forced into a drastic triple change at the break with Cesar Azpilicueta, Barkley and Mateo Kovacic coming on to replace Reece James, Mason Mount and Billy Gilmour.

The change looked to have the desired effect and roles were reversed with the Blues dominating the ball in the early stages.

Tammy Abraham crossed to Christian Pulisic but the American headed straight at the keeper.

Two minutes later and it was that combination causing trouble again, Pulisic this time playing through Abraham who finished superbly into the corner but the flag was raised for offside.

Just after the hour mark, the visitors got their reward when two of the substitutes combined to break the deadlock.

Azpilicueta played a lovely one-two with Willian and the Brazilian produced a pin-point cross for Barkley who slid in and finished superbly.

Chelsea: Caballero, James (Azpilicueta 45), Rudiger, Zouma, Emerson, Kante, Gilmour (Kovacic 45), Willian (Pedro 78), Mount (Barkley 45), Pulisic (Loftus-Cheek 72), Abraham.
Subs not used: Kepa, Alonso, Jorginho, Giroud.