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Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea, FA Cup: Post-match reaction, ratings

WINNER WINNER ANOTHER FA CUP SEMIFINAL DINNER

FBL-ENG-FACUP-MIDDLESBROUGH-CHELSEA Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Chelsea were out quickly from the blocks and could’ve taken the lead inside of five minutes. We didn’t, but we didn’t have to wait too long, thanks to a wonderful flowing move down the right — one of many on the day, especially in the first-half — Azpilicueta to Silva to Ziyech to Mount to Lukaku and into the back of the net.

Boro’s response to going behind was commendable, and we played into their hands with a few mistakes in the defensive third. But Mendy still hardly had anything to do.

And just when it looked like the home side’s ascendancy would result in something tangible, Ziyech produced another world-class goal from range, doing the goalkeeper dirty with an arrowed shot. As it turned out, that pretty much settled the game with just 30 minutes on the clock.

Boro certainly tried to get back into the game in the second half, but Chelsea remained largely comfortable. Werner had a chance to put the game to bed a couple times, but first saw the goalkeeper make an excellent save on a headed effort, then saw some heroic defending clear off the line ten minutes later.

Still, Chelsea never looked in much, if any trouble and we saw out the win safely.

The 600 Chelsea fans in the away end celebrated.

Carefree.

  • Handful of changes from midweek from the boss, including a formation shift to a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 with Mount playing his hybrid attacking midfielder role and Loftus-Cheek holding. The right side of the setup was especially effective.
  • Lukaku now the leading goalscorer in all competitions this season with 12.
  • Mount credited with both assists
  • Another clean sheet; did Boro even have a shot on target?
  • The other three quarterfinals are all tomorrow, as is the draw for the semifinals.
  • That’s five FA Cup semifinals in the last six seasons.
  • Next up: international break, then home game against Brentford on April 2. Perhaps with the new owners in place by then already.
  • KTBFFH

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