Fikayo Tomori was back in the starting lineup as Chelsea rotated the squad for the FA Cup fourth round test at Championship side Hull City. The 22-year-old has not been featured as much recently as he had earlier in the season — just 6 starts in the last 14, and just 2 in the last 6, both in the FA Cup — but on Saturday he showed no ill effects of last month’s hip injury and put in a solid shift at both ends of the pitch, with and without the ball.
In fact, his second-half goal that doubled Chelsea’s lead goal proved to be the eventual winner after Hull City got lucky on a free kick (both in winning it and scoring it). It was Tomori’s second goal of the season and just the second goal scored by any center back at the club — just one of the many facets of the issues we’ve been having in front of goal for most of the season, and just one of the many ways we have to improve.
“We could have been probably three or four up at half-time so to not take those chances was pretty disappointing. We made it a lot more difficult for ourselves than it should be. So it is something for us to learn from and something for us to work on and the last few weeks it is what has happened where we haven’t taken our chances and we haven’t picked up as many points as we should have.
“It was nice to get the win against Hull and I am happy to get the goal and happy to be in the next round but we still know we have to improve.”
Despite those issues, Chelsea remain well in the hunt for the top-four, and we’re still alive in two knockout competitions where anything can always happen. That said, the FA Cup represents a much more likely path towards a trophy this season. If we are to win something, that is our best chance for it.
Tomori also knowns Chelsea’s modern legacy in winning the Chelsea Cup, and obviously wouldn’t mind adding another chapter to that.
“It would mean a lot [to have a good FA Cup run]. A lot of us are in our first full season in the Premier League and playing for Chelsea as well and it would be a big thing.
“Chelsea have got such a great history in this competition, and the manager has as well, so it would be nice to win the trophy as for many of us it would be our first one. We are just taking it round by round. We have a lot of games coming up and we want to win as many as we can and hopefully we can have a trophy at the end of it.”
-Fikayo Tomori; source: Chelsea FC
Tomori spent a season on loan at Hull a couple years ago, but he celebrated his goal with the unbridled passion of a True Blue Blood. We need more of that as we enter the make-or-break portion of the season — in terms of goals, in terms of dedication, and in terms of winning as well.
With all four center backs healthy these days, for pretty much the first time all season, Lampard has tough decisions to make. Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen appear to be the first-choice pairing at the moment, but that’s hardly set in stone.