That’s all from me. Thanks for your company and emails – good night!
Thomas Tuchel’s verdict
“It was a very challenging week, both physically and mentally. The performance was very tight, very dangerous. We took good care of the counter-attack. It was the kind of match where, maybe if you lose 1-0 with a set-kick, you have the feeling, ‘Have we invested enough?'” But it’s very hard to invest because the opponent is ready, and they played a new system, and they changed the system twice. It’s very difficult and you can’t lose focus for one second. And if you win the match, you’ll say, “We were very patient and very controlled,” and we were.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was excellent. He was very strong against Southampton and Madrid and he deserved to start, but honestly we were expecting four defenses and we wanted more from the classic full-back position. We also wanted Azpi to be on the field as our captain, but we knew Robben could make an impact off the bench. We are very happy with it at the moment. He’s always that way in training but sometimes he hides his potential in matches.
“I am happy to be a part of the FA Cup Final again. It is a huge competition. I am very grateful and we will be ready.”
Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s thoughts after the match
“It’s been a tough road for me, with injuries and out on loan. But I’ve always wanted to play for Chelsea and I’ve played a lot this season so I’m happy. I think the goal took some deviation, but I’ll take it! The hype was incredible and I’m so happy.”
“It seemed a little slow in the first half so I wanted to bring in a little energy. The reason I’m still here is because of my mentality despite all the injuries – I keep working no matter what, and I’ve said for many years that my time will come.
“We want to get Liverpool back, as simple as that. I thought the Carabao Cup final was a great match that could have gone either way. We are looking forward to that, and hopefully we can get our revenge.”
“So, it’s the Chelsea-Liverpool game again,” Bilal writes. How many times have the same teams played in the League and FA Cup Finals in the same season?
The last time that happened, and I think the only time, was when Arsenal beat Sheffield Wednesday in both finals in 1992-93.
Peep peep! Chelsea will play Liverpool in the FA Cup final next month after a difficult victory over Crystal Palace. After a quiet first hour, substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave Chelsea the lead after a Terrick Mitchell foul. Mason Mount’s superb second goal secured Chelsea’s fifth FA Cup final in six seasons. Minors could have no complaints, but they shouldn’t have any regrets.
90 minutes: Lukaku hits another! Werner rushed into the area on the left and put it on a platter for Lukaku, who somehow bumped into the post from seven yards. Ziyech’s follow-up was heavily blocked on the line, I believe by Guehi.
89 minutes The player of the match is Timo Werner who made the second goal and disturbed Palace all day with his movement.
88 minutes Match fade. Palace did everything in their power but Chelsea are heading into the FA Cup final once again.
85 minutes Meanwhile, Palace attends Luka Milivojevic for Shekho Kouyate. And Rudiger will continue.
84 minutes Rudiger has what looks like a hip or groin problem. Chelsea used all five substitutions, although they would get a sixth if this went into overtime.
82 minutes Chelsea make their fifth substitution – Thiago Silva comes in in place of Andreas Christensen.
81 minutes Ziyech shoots straight at Butland from a distance.
78 min: What a chance for Andersen! The palace must return to it. Ayew assisted the zigzag corner for Ulysses from the right, and turned toward the unmarked Andersen behind the far post. But he jumped too early and went over the bar from four yards.
77 minutes A triple change for Chelsea: N’Golo Kante, Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku instead of Jorginho, Mount and Haverts.
Mason Mount made it 2-0 with a great finish. Werner, on the left side of the area, made the goal with a beautiful square pass to Mount, inside the penalty area. He meticulously took it in his stride, escaping Andersen in the process, opening his body to shoot the ball into the far corner. This is a good goal.
Chelsea will return to Wembley next month.
74 minutes Ayo plays a clever pass into the area for Zaha, who takes her away from Mindy. The angle is too wide to shoot, so he hits a cross on the turn instead, and eventually the attack fades.
72 minutes Double change for a palace: Christian Benteke and Michael Ulis replace James MacArthur and Jeffrey Schlupp, so Patrick Vieira does it. why not.
71 minutes That is the goal of Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
70 minutes The palace is preparing Christian Benteke.
69 minutes Suddenly, Chelsea has a bit of cockiness. It’s a long way back from here to Palace, which has been on the counterattack all afternoon.
67 minutes This is Loftus-Cheek’s first goal with Chelsea in three years, as reported here.
Indeed, it took an aberration, but Loftus-Cheek will take care. After Mitchell was caught in possession, Havertz’s cross from the right hit Guehi and bounced back towards the edge of the area. Loftus-Cheek ran on the ball, twisted his body and slapped a shot that hit Andersen and flew into the net.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek gives Chelsea the lead with an amazing finish!
63 minutes Azpilicueta’s dangerous cross crossed by Andersen at six yards. He defended the palace admirably.
61 min: What an opportunity for a palace! Izzy’s corner kick falls wide by Kouyate, who misjudged his attempt to header. With a clean connection he would likely score.
60 minutes Zaha overtakes Christensen on the right and draws a deep cross headed by Azpilicueta.
60 minutes This could go on forever,” says Ian Kopistik.
59 minutes Chelsea are completely in control of possession, with around 70 per cent in the match, but they still haven’t created a clear opportunity. It was a draining game.
57 minutes I say 3-4-3; It’s really 5-4-1.
56 minutes Palace appears to have turned 3-4-3, with Ayo showing on the right, Izzy wide on the left and Zaha the lone striker.
54 minutes Changing Palace – Jordan Ayew replaces Jean-Philippe Mateta.
53 minutes A free kick from Al-Qasr headed in the air by Kouyate and was scooped by Mendy under the crossbar.
52 minutes Rudiger’s hooves are wide from a distance.
51 minutes Loftus-Cheek takes a return ball from Jorginho and stabs a clever pass toward Werner, who Kouyate removed from the ball in the six-yard area. Good defense.
49 minutes A mountain ignites from a distance.
48 minutes Chelsea completed the match where they left off in the first half, moving the ball from side to side in pursuit of one of the openings. Nothing is done yet.
46 minutes Peep peep! Chelsea starts the second half.
“If Chelsea is the designated host team,” Gary Byrne (and others) ask, “Why do they wear yellow?”
I have no idea. You’re welcome!
Half time reading
Peep peep! Half calm ends. Chelsea controlled the ball, but Palace came close when Edward Mendy parried Shekho Kouyate’s shot. See you in 15 minutes in the second half.
45 minutes There will be two extra minutes.
42 minutes Most importantly for Palace, at this point, they looked really strong defensively. The only saves Jack Butland had to make were relatively comfortable.
40 minutes There have been some promising breaks from the Palace, usually involving Zaha, but their last pass was either poorly designed or poorly executed.
39 minutes “In last year’s last tactics Tom did similar things with James in the middle to counter Vardy’s threat and that didn’t work,” says Yash Gupta. “Plus, this shift in positions has taken the offensive momentum off Chelsea’s right-hand side. If anything, he has a decent chance.”
38 minutes Havertz was booked to dive into the Crystal Palace area after a challenge from Guehi. Chelsea wanted a penalty but replays showed it was a brilliant and brave decision by Taylor.
38 minutes “It’s not as fun as half of yesterday,” says Joe Pearson.