Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s first Chelsea goal in three years and Mason Mount’s fourth in three games got the job done for the Blues at Wembley as we booked our place in a third consecutive FA Cup final.
We will meet Liverpool once again next month, a repeat of February’s Carabao Cup finale, which ended in a penalty shoot-out defeat for Thomas Tuchel’s men. There was no need for spot-kicks on our latest trip to the national stadium as two goals in 11 second-half minutes broke the resistance of a stubborn Crystal Palace side.
The first period was edgy and lacking in real opportunities down either end, with the Eagles going closest when Edouard Mendy saved smartly from his Senegalese compatriot Cheikhou Kouyate. Yet Chelsea upped the ante in the second period and eventually broke through when substitute Loftus-Cheek smashed a brilliant opener into the top corner on the half-volley
That advantage was doubled shortly afterwards when his homegrown partner Mount steered a low finish into the bottom far corner to continue an impressive recent run of goalscoring form and book our return to Wembley for next month’s final, our fifth appearance in the showpiece in the past six years.
Chelsea were changed by three from our midweek outing in the Spanish capital, with Andreas Christensen, Jorginho and captain Cesar Azpilicueta the returning trio in place of Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante and Loftus-Cheek.
Azpilicueta came in at wing-back, while Mount and Timo Werner were retained in attack following their goalscoring exploits at the Bernabeu.
Palace made four alterations from their recent league defeat at Leicester City. On-loan Conor Gallagher was ineligible to face his parent club so James McArthur replaced him in midfield, while Joel Ward, Ebere Eze and goalkeeper Jack Butland also came in.