After a fantastic but tragic night in the Champions League, Chelsea will seek to go one step closer to winning the FA Cup when they meet Crystal Palace in the semi-final on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
The two London clubs are competing for a spot in the final, which will be played against either Liverpool or Manchester City, with the fate of the other finalists to be decided 24 hours before the capital derby. When a certain Frenchman emerged to the fore, Real Madrid was on the verge of a humiliating defeat to PSG.
After Thomas Tuchel’s squad had scored three goals against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, Luka Modric’s brilliant pass for Rodrygo to volley in forced extra time before Karim Benzema broke blue hearts once more. Tuchel’s side dominated Real Madrid on their own ground for long stretches and will carry that momentum into the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.
Chelsea came in second place in 2020 and 2021, despite beating Chesterfield, Plymouth Argyle, Luton Town, and Middlesbrough to reach Wembley, although with only one clean sheet against lower-league competition.
Chelsea hasn’t conceded a goal since losing in the EFL Cup final to Liverpool, and they appear to have recovered from their early-month slump, so a seventh FA Cup success is on the cards, but Tuchel’s counterpart knows a thing or two about the prestigious trophy.
Patrick Vieira last kicked a ball for Arsenal on May 21, 2005, against Manchester United. With the Gunners, it was his fourth and last FA Cup victory. The Palace team, led by the 45-year-old Crystal, has been good recently – Manchester City and Arsenal are fully aware of their potential – but their loss to Leicester City last weekend demonstrated that they are still a work in progress.
Chelsea had to work hard for their 1-0 victory at Selhurst Park in February, but it was their ninth straight win in this fixture, and they won’t want another FA Cup shock after their European agony.
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