The Malta Independent on Sunday

Chelsea reach FA Cup final and end Manchester City's quadruple bid

-

Manchester City's quadruple dream has been extinguish­ed by Chelsea. Even more concerning could be the injury to Kevin De Bruyne for the ongoing pursuit of a treble.

Chelsea will be back at Wembley Stadium next month for the FA Cup final after a 1-0 victory over City was clinched by Hakim Ziyech on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola will return even sooner next Sunday with City for the League Cup final but with doubts over whether De Bruyne will be fit to face Tottenham.

"It doesn't look quite good," Guardiola said. "But we will see tomorrow."

The influentia­l Belgian playmaker hobbled off with an apparent ankle injury just as City is entering a crunch period of the season.

A 11-point Premier League lead makes collecting that trophy a near-certainty but there is also a first Champions League semifinal with City for Guardiola against Paris Saint-Germain in what remains the priority title for the club.

"We started the game a little bit slow and struggled a bit in the first half," City midfielder Fernandinh­o said.

While Guardiola has been in charge almost five years at City, Thomas Tuchel has only been at Chelsea three months.

After picking up the pieces following the firing of Frank Lampard, the German now has a shot at a trophy in the FA Cup final against Leicester or Southampto­n next month. And like City, Chelsea remains in Champions League contention with Real Madrid awaiting in the last four.

"All the ways are still open, everybody is excited by it," Ziyech said. "And we cannot wait to play these games."

The performanc­e against City will offer Tuchel encouragem­ent of silverware. While Timo Werner struggles for goals, assists are less of a problem. It was his 12th of his first season at Chelsea, setting up Ziyech for the close-range finish in the 55th minute in an unguarded net after American goalkeeper Zack Steffen was left stranded.

"It was a good delivery and I could just put it in easily," Ziyech said. "I still have a lot to work on, but I think I am on a good way."

There were no Chelsea fans to witness the goal in person. But they should be allowed back into Wembley for the May 15 final as coronaviru­s restrictio­ns are eased.

How to get safely back into venues will be assessed at Wembley on Sunday when up to 4,000 locals from the north London district are allowed in to see Leicester take on Southampto­n if they can produce a negative coronaviru­s test result.

 ??  ?? Manchester City's Phil Foden, left, challenges for the ball with Chelsea's Thiago Silva
Manchester City's Phil Foden, left, challenges for the ball with Chelsea's Thiago Silva

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta