When Chelsea played Barnsley in the League Cup earlier this season, we waltzed to a rather easy 6-0 win at Stamford Bridge. Expecting a similar outcome last night at Oakwell in the other domestic cup probably would’ve been a bit too optimistic, but at the same time, getting outplayed and outfought for large periods of the game by second division opposition was also not exactly anyone’s idea of a good time.
But despite the struggles, the scoreboard showed the outcome in Chelsea’s favor at full time, and in a single-elimination competition, that is all that matters at the end of the day. We can go home happy and, like Tuchel, save the harsh takes for the harsh light of the morning.
“It was a very tough game. Credit to Barnsley, they defended well, they put us under constant pressure. We knew coming here would never be easy, but you know sometimes you need these one-nil wins to go home happy.”
The collective performance may not have been very good, but on a personal level, it was another strong match from Tammy Abraham, who now has 4 goals in three FA Cup games this season — our last four scored have all been scored by him in fact — and has added to his team-leading goals tally as well, taking him to 12 this season and 30 senior goals for the club in all competitions. (He’s the 91st player in our history to reach that mark apparently.)
The goal itself was crafted in the Academy, with Billy Gilmour breaking the lines, Reece James providing the pin-point assist, and Abraham tapping in. With no VAR in effect at the Championship stadium, there was some controversy about Abraham’s goal as it looked off in live time, though replays later showed that he was, in fact, onside. Either way, it would’ve made up for the probable penalty that went uncalled in the first half, when Abraham was slide-tackled in the box in what looked like a sure foul, especially the more we looked at it. But again, no VAR, which sometimes is good for something.
“Yeah you know every time i get a chance to play and to get on the pitch, I just always try to do my best to be in and amongst the goals. Luckily for me it’s all about getting in the right place and that’s what i’ve been doing.
“Me and Reece talk about [that] every day. We’re saying, get across the goal in between the defenders, near the ‘keeper. [He] put it on a plate for me.”
Chelsea are thus into the quarterfinals, where a favorable draw means that we get Sheffield United at home rather than one of the three top-four big guns still left in the last eight. That’s not to say the game will be easy, but with eyes on the prize and intentions fully on improving, we should have a great chance of at least reaching the next round. Only three wins to a trophy now!
“Last season we got into the finals and were unlucky not to win it. This year we want to win something, so hopefully this gives us a better chance.”
“Of course you know we always want to win. We’re Chelsea! We did have a couple games where we didn’t get the win. But we’ve been on a good run, and we have to maintain it and carry on.
“Every game we have to put in a performance and try leave everything out there on the pitch. That’s all we have to keep doing”
-Tammy Abraham; source: Chelsea TV
Still unbeaten under Tuchel, with four wins and one draw. Onwards and upwards!