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Ruben Loftus-Cheek puts Chelsea on course to semi-final win over Palace

Mason Mount sealed a 2-0 FA Cup win at Wembley. (Author: Gardener)

Loftus-CheekRuben Loftus-Cheek capped his impressive comeback with his first Chelsea goal since May 2019 as the Blues beat Crystal Palace 2-0 to reach their third consecutive FA Cup final. Loftus-Cheek's thunderclap finish yanked the Blues out of a sluggish performance into a 16th FA Cup final, with Mason Mount's angled effort sealing the deal. England midfielder Loftus-Cheek spent the 2017/18 season on loan with the Eagles, even blazing his way to the World Cup after his season at Selhurst Park. Loftus-Cheek's first Chelsea goal since the 1-1 Europa League draw with Eintracht Frankfurt on 9 May 2019 spurred the Blues to overcome their apparent fatigue and advance to another final. Chelsea relinquished their Champions League crown despite beating Real Madrid 3-2 at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night, leaving the European stage just 5-4 on aggregate and after extra time. That fourth overtime in a tough season took its clear toll as Chelsea struggled to meet their usual rigors against Patrick Vieira's well-organized and talented Eagles. However, just as Vieira's men threatened surprise, Loftus-Cheek emerged with a powerful punch. Chelsea's nerves finally settled, Mount quickly grabbed Timo Werner's inside ball and shot home to end the contest. Loftus-Cheek excelled in a hybrid role, mixing right-back and midfield in Chelsea's 6-0 win over Southampton and that boastful victory in Madrid. But at Wembley, the Chelsea academy graduate was forced to spring into action in defensive midfield after Mateo Kovacic picked up an ankle problem in the early substitutions. And that opportunistic finish showed another side of his talent for a man who ruptured a nasty Achilles tendon in a friendly at New England Revolution in Boston on May 16, 2019. Loftus-Cheek has only just begun to reach his full potential again this season after undergoing surgery to repair his Achilles and subsequent back problems. Chelsea's midweek heroics took a significant toll on the sluggish Blues, who failed to push the pace or rhythm in a choppy first half. The Eagles actually had the best chance of the half when Cheikhou Kouyate's volley forced Edouard Mendy into a fine save. Werner should have opened the second half with at least a shot on target but was slowed down by Kouyate when he was sent on target by Loftus-Cheek's pass. Chelsea couldn't build on that opening, however, and Kouyate nodded a wrong-post corner after Wilfried Zaha turned Andreas Christensen inside out. The Blues needed to pull something out of thin air, and Loftus-Cheek's thundering punch certainly appeared out of precious loose change. Tyrick Mitchell was robbed deep in his own half and Chelsea refused to squander that gift of possession. Havertz's deflected cross fell friendly to Loftus-Cheek and he whipped home. Mount quickly doubled Chelsea's lead with a fine angled finish into the corner of the net to end the tie and cement the Blues' path to another FA Cup final. Substitute striker Romelu Lukaku hit a post from point-blank range after Werner's pass, but the miss didn't matter at the time.

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Thomas Tuchel underscores the importance as Chelsea have a chance to get their revenge on Liverpool quickly

Chelsea and Liverpool will do it all again in next month's FA Cup final after Thomas Tuchel's side shook off Madrid's disappointment to get past a spirited Crystal Palace. It means a repeat of that year's Carabao Cup final, which Jurgen Klopp's side won after 22 penalties that eventually separated the two teams. (Author: Gardener)

LiverpoolChelsea and Liverpool will do it all again in next month's FA Cup final after Thomas Tuchel's side shook off Madrid's disappointment to get past a spirited Crystal Palace. It means a repeat of that year's Carabao Cup final, which Jurgen Klopp's side won after 22 penalties that eventually separated the two teams. So this 2-0 win over Palace offers Tuchel a chance for quick revenge and, who knows, denying four-time pursuers Liverpool a clean win. Klopp's side will certainly have to do it the hard way if they want to achieve the unprecedented feat of lifting all three domestic trophies and the Champions League as well. The win, meanwhile, keeps Chelsea's season alive and ensures that Tuchel remains an intriguing subplot of the Klopp-Pep Guardiola narrative. While Liverpool and Manchester City are on course to determine the two biggest prizes in the Premier League and Champions League, Klopp will need to defeat Tuchel in both domestic cups if he is to achieve his ambitions this season. That alone should serve as a reminder of just how close Chelsea are to becoming the undisputed leaders in English and possibly European football. The European Supercup and the Club World Cup have already been won this season. The Carabao Cup was lost on penalties while the defense of the Champions League crown ended in heartbreaking circumstances against Real Madrid on Tuesday night. Now Tuchel has extended his record of reaching every possible domestic cup final since taking charge at Stamford Bridge last year with this latest win. It is the third year in a row that Chelsea have reached the FA Cup final - now they must finish the job after losing in each of the last two years. It was also cruel for Palace, who had caused numerous problems for their opponents - Edouard Mendy had to make a wonderful save to beat Cheikhou Kouyate on points. Blue and red flags filled the end of the palace and flares were fired before the first whistle, adding to the atmosphere. Palace were ready to capitalize on any mistake as Wilfried Zaha, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Eberechi Eze all threatened at the break. Only the attention of Andreas Christensen kept them at bay in the first half, while Kouyate's volley was brilliantly chipped away by Mendy nine minutes before the break. Chelsea offered little response, with a dive from Kai Havertz on the edge of the area, earning the German and yellow card and denying himself a clear goal run. Kouyate also had the first real chance of the second half as he rose higher than everyone to take a corner - but with Mendy, rooted at the point, headed in. That miss gained momentum when Chelsea took the lead in the 65th minute, with a touch of luck proving crucial. When Tyrick Mitchell lost the ball in his own half, Chelsea charged forward. Havertz spun in the penalty area before driving a hopeful ball over the goal. Whether Jack Butland could have stopped it without that touch is debatable - but it was about the breaks to Chelsea and against Palace. The game was over in the 76th minute when Mason Mount added a second. Havertz lofted ball was controlled on the chest by Timo Werner. Werner then showed composure to await his chance to feed Mount in the box and the midfielder slid a shot past Butland. Chelsea could have extended their lead late on when Romelu Lukaku came off the bench and hit the post with an open goal in front of him. Now they have to complete it against Liverpool.

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Chelsea's class prevails over Crystal Palace to set up FA Cup final against Liverpool

Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace: goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount secured the Blues (Author: Gardener)

ChelseaA routine 2-0 win for Chelsea over Crystal Palace has confirmed them as FA Cup finalists. As a result, a season that promised much but has delivered little beyond the vanity silver of the European Super Cup and Club World Cup could now end on something substantial. Whether Roman Abramovich will still own the club until the final on May 14 remains to be seen. Doing for the sixth time, no less than beating Liverpool, is seen by some, not least the Russian himself, as a silver lining after a dark couple of months for the club. When Conor Gallagher was eliminated from that game and unable to play against his parent club, who bolstered Palace's underdog status but robbed them of the engine to use that fuel, it was something else blue and borrowed that would make an impact. Ruben Loftus-Cheek spent the 2017/18 season calling Selhurst Park home, a period that earned him widespread praise and even a spot in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the 2018 World Cup. The time since then has certainly not been a continuation of this uptrend. But after playing all but the second half of extra time against Real Madrid in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg, his immaculately controlled volley in the 65th minute, after coming on as a substitute midway through the first half, opened that game for Chelsea with his first goal of the season That opened up a low-key affair and Mason Mount struck with the second with 14 minutes to go. A calm take and a finish in the box - penetrating the far corner - finally draining Palace's rough support. Go back six months and a prospective FA Cup semi-final between these two sides would come with the caveat of knowing it would mean more to one than the other. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, found themselves in the midst of their own mini-revolution under Patrick Vieira, still more of a concept than the full-blown movement it has become. Now we were here and both teams wanted so much from that Sunday at Wembley, to nourish themselves during tough times and have a tangible sign of progress each. That way, Chelsea perhaps needed it a bit more after being relegated to La Liga, mid-week European departure to Real Madrid and caning last Saturday in February at the same venue in the League Cup final. In contrast to Saturday's riveting semi-final between two sides with more important things on the horizon, both Chelsea and Palace started this encounter holding back their shots and wary of a counterattack if they engaged too much. There was little complexity, particularly as Chelsea attempted to snap the ball around only to be met with a solid midfield block from James McArthur and Jeffery Schlupp as they attempted to start set movements from a standing position. Behind those two in red and blue was an uncompromising trio of Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi and Cheikhou Kouyate, who happened to register Palace's first shot, which forced a strong save from Edouard Mendy, who dived to his left. Furthermore, Chelsea left the first half with little alarm. The main focus of Palace's attack was raking balls at their wing-backs - mainly Joel Ward on the right - which mattered very little apart from a couple of throw-ins saved deep in the attacking half. The biggest concern for Tuchel in the opening 45 minutes was an injury to Mateo Kovacic, who was pulled back for Loftus-Cheek after 25 minutes. With this forced change, Chelsea were able to start the second half with greater presence in the attacking third. And in turn, Loftus-Cheek wandered around while Palace was pushed back. The start was the fruit of that work: Palace actually repelled an initial attack before Azpilicueta recaptured the ball high up and put Havertz through in the penalty area. Guehi clipped his cross to create an inviting deflection for Loftus-Cheek, whose shot would have been sweet enough to hit Jack Butland without another pitch, this time off Andersen's bottom back. And with midfield disjointed, Chelsea wasted little time doubling their lead. The German played the ball to Mount, who then initiated a one-two for the England international to slide into the box, maintain control and sidefoot into the corner behind Butland's dive. If Andersen hadn't missed the back post and had the goal in his hand, we might have had a blockbuster finish. Unfortunately, Chelsea looked more likely to hit the net in the closing stages, which was reinforced by the substitutions of Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech. Both should have scored: Lukaku missed an open goal from the six-yard box after Werner's cutback, then Ziyech's shot from the post rebound cleared the line. Even Antonio Rüdiger could have had a hand in the death by breaking into the box before his shift fired a red and blue body. Chelsea were content throughout the day, while the Palace players regretted a missed opportunity as their fans turned up the volume once more to drown out 'Blue Is The Colour' from Wembley's tinny speakers. For Chelsea fans, there's one more to enjoy.

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount propel Blues into third straight FA Cup final

Match report as Chelsea defeat Crystal Palace at Wembley to secure their place in the FA Cup final where they meet seven-time winners Liverpool on May 14; Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount scored in the second half to give Thomas Tuchel's team a 2-0 win (Author: Gardener)

Mason MountSecond-half goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount sent Chelsea into their third straight FA Cup final with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Wembley. On a bright Easter Sunday afternoon in London, substitute Loftus-Cheek's first goal of the season (65') and Mount's calm finish eleven minutes later were enough to secure the 14th final. After suffering Champions League heartbreak in Madrid on Tuesday, Chelsea appeared to carry that disappointment into the semi-finals as they started lethargically and without real conviction. In a quiet and uneventful first half, Palace had the best chance when Cheikhou Kouyate volleyed Edouard Mendy for a fine save before Joachim Andersen hit the post for offside. The tie took a moment of magic and Loftus-Cheek, who had replaced the injured Mateo Kovacic midway through the opening period, delivered exactly that 20 minutes after the break. Palace left-back Tyrick Mitchell was caught on the ball and after Kai Havertz advanced into the box after a couple of quick one-touch passes, his half-cleared shot was smashed home by Loftus-Cheek via a slight deflection in the opener. The 26-year-old, who spent the 2017/18 season on loan at Palace, ceremoniously punched the air as he ended a goal drought at Chelsea that stretched back to 9 May 2019. Timo Werner's easy square ball from the edge of the box was snapped past Andersen by Mount's first touch before the England international then buried a finish behind Jack Butland for his 12th goal of the season. After losing to Arsenal in 2020 and Leicester last year, Thomas Tuchel's side are hoping to get lucky for a third time at Wembley next month as they seek a ninth FA Cup title. The result also capped a successful day for the club as a whole, having previously progressed to their third FA Cup final in five years after beating Arsenal 2-0. After losing to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final in February, Chelsea's Mason Mount is seeking a "payback" when the two sides meet again next month. "It's definitely time for us to win a final at Wembley, it's five finals I've lost. Now it's time to pay us back (against Liverpool)," he told ITV Sport. Palace made it very difficult for us and it wasn't easy. He came on as a substitute in a difficult game and he's a big player for us, always wanted to play for Chelsea. "The reason I'm still here is because of my mentality. I have said that my time will come for many years. "Everyone wants to play and I feel like I've done well in the last couple of games and wanted to keep the momentum. The depth of the squad is fantastic, but I have to be ready to step in." Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said: "He shows that in training but it's not enough, you have to show it on the pitch. "It wasn't easy because we played three games in three different competitions. "I'm delighted to be part of another FA Cup final. I'm very grateful and we'll be ready.” Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira wants the semi-final defeat to be a platform for his side and praised the club's supporters. “It's the kind of game that the club wants to be in (with). "I think playing games like this with a lot of excitement will make us a better team." Thomas Tuchel defended Chelsea's tedious, roiling opening 45 minutes against Crystal Palace in their FA Cup semi-final win by insisting it was the The only way is to play against Patrick Vieira's counter team. "This was a Palace side, 13th in the Premier League, with eight league wins all season and their fifth FA Cup semi-final against the reigning Champions League, Club World Cup and European Super Cup winners "Vieira's men also started without their player of the season Conor Gallagher or best playmaker Michael Olise and played a form they hadn't used all season. "Tuchel has hardly had to apologize for himself or his side given his performances at Stamford Bridge since joining 14 months ago and the Blues would have been forgiven if they showed any signs of a Champions League disappointment following their extra-time absence at Real Madrid. Hangovers showed mid-week.” But his argument doesn't wash away. Chelsea's pace and intensity were lacking throughout the first half at Wembley and it was no coincidence that their two goals later came from fast, incisive play - the kind Tuchel had suggested was not possible because of Palace's counterattack threat . "The proof will be in the FA Cup final on May 14, when Chelsea take on Liverpool and hope not to be runners-up for a third straight season. "Against a disciplined but limited Palace side, they could afford to take time to find their rhythm and were dismissed in both halves when Cheikhou Kouyate came close to scoring for the Eagles. “A Liverpool side still on their way to the quadruple that Man City tore apart so easily in the other semi-final on Saturday will not be as generous. Anything close to a repeat performance in four weeks would certainly continue Chelsea's recent FA Cup of always being the bridesmaid and never the bride." Chelsea host Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday at 19.45 - live on Sky Sports Premier League Next up for Crystal Palace is a trip to Newcastle at the same time.

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'Chelsea again show ability to thrive in chaos'

BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty examines how Chelsea reached their third straight FA Cup final. (Author: Gardener)

ChelseaChelsea may have a new name over the door at Stamford Bridge in the coming weeks but some things never change and they proved it once again by beating Crystal Palace and reaching their third straight FA Cup final. Chelsea have demonstrated a remarkable ability to defy the natural laws of the game, thriving amid what the outside world sees as chaos and being rocked by the kind of turmoil usually associated with crises. It didn't matter if the club went through seismic changes on or off the pitch - and occasionally both - as Chelsea have a winning mentality that seems capable of overcoming any obstacles. The classic example was the provisional tenure of Roberto di Matteo, appointed after Andre Villas-Boas failed to win the FA Cup and Champions League in 2012. Naturally, he was fired from Chelsea six months after winning the job permanently. This time, the uncertainty hanging over Stamford Bridge is being caused by sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich over alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which threatened to cause financial damage to Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel has shown he is capable of whatever Chelsea management throws at him as he sacked Frank Lampard in January 2021 and found a way to win the Champions League. In the current climate, Tuchel has remained a quiet poster boy for Chelsea and they showed commendable recovery skills to shake off the bitter disappointment of losing their Champions League crown after an epic quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu when they threatened a 3: 1-break lead from the first game. And now, after guiding Chelsea to the FA Cup final last season when they lost to Leicester City and a victorious Champions League final against Manchester City, Tuchel has reached the Carabao Cup final this season and another meeting with Liverpool scheduled at Wembley in May. Chelsea and Tuchel have two ghosts to put to rest. Having lost their previous two FA Cup finals, the first under Lampard against Arsenal, they will now seek some revenge against Liverpool after losing on penalties in the EFL Cup final. There may be a group of new owners jostling for the position to succeed Abramovich at Stamford Bridge, but whoever enters the boardroom will look down and see a Chelsea side with a familiar appearance. These are all matters for another day as Chelsea usually put those insecurities aside to rumble on. As they took control early in the second half, they never let go and there was only one winner as Ruben Loftus-Cheek put them ahead, a fact borne out by Mason Mount's second and all remaining hopes of the Palace on a meeting with Liverpool nullified final. The Abramovich era was famous for the big acquisitions that changed the face of English football, but here were two Chelsea academy graduates, carefully nurtured during his time at the club, who made the difference. Conor Gallagher, a Chelsea loanee so successful at Palace that he has played for England, has been ruled out against his parent club under the terms of the deal - and how manager Patrick Vieira missed his exuberance, skill and creativity as his side aspired to break through It was cruel for Palace and Gallagher but rules are rules and Chelsea were happy about it. Marc Guehi, also from Chelsea academy, excelled at Palace to the point of representing England as well. Those remaining at Chelsea have the toughest tasks of the game right now, which is finding a way to beat Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool while trying to add the FA Cup to the EFL Cup. Liverpool are trying to make history by also winning the Champions League, with an upcoming semi-final against Villarreal, and the Premier League as they battle Manchester City. Chelsea could only be separated from Liverpool on penalties in their first meeting at Wembley and although Liverpool will be favourites, history and an uncanny ability to emerge from seemingly unfavorable circumstances with a trophy mean it would be foolish to write off the Blues . * Everything Chelsea - go straight to the best content

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FA Cup Semi-Finals - Live Reaction!

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount scored in the last half hour to lead Chelsea to their fifth FA Cup final in six seasons (Author: Gardener)

Loftus-CheekThis website uses cookies for analytics, personalized content and ads. By continuing to browse this site, you agree to this use. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount scored in the last half-hour to take Chelsea to their fifth FA Cup final in six seasons. Chelsea are set to play Liverpool in next month's FA Cup final after a hard-fought win over Crystal Palace. After a quiet, grueling first hour, substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave Chelsea the lead after a mistake by Tyrick Mitchell. Mason Mount's stylish second goal ensured Chelsea reached the FA Cup final for the fifth time in six seasons. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel congratulates Ruben Loftus-Cheek at the end of the game. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images Conor Gallagher hugs Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi after his side's defeat. But I always wanted to play for Chelsea and I've played quite a lot this season so I'm happy. I think the goal deflected a bit but I'll take it! “It looked a bit slow in the first half so I wanted to bring a bit of energy. The fact that I'm still here is because of my mentality, despite all the injuries - I'm definitely going to continue and have been saying for many years that my time will come. I thought the Carabao Cup final was a fantastic game that could have gone either way. We're looking forward to it and hopefully we'll return the favor.” “So it's Chelsea against Liverpool again,” writes Bilal. "How many times has it happened that the same teams have played in the league and FA Cup finals in the same season?" The last time, and I think the only time, it happened was when Arsenal played in both Sheffield Wednesday finals in 1992/93 defeated. Chelsea will return to Wembley next month. Mount of Chelsea scores Chelsea's second goal. Photo: Justin Setterfield/The FA/Getty Images 90 min: Lukaku hits the post! Werner scurries left into the penalty area and creates a plate for Lukaku, who somehow hits the post from seven meters. 89 min The player of the match is Timo Werner, who scored the second goal and worried Palace all day with his movement. 88 min The match comes to an end. Palace have given it their all but Chelsea are heading for another FA Cup final. Ruben Loftus-Cheek puts Chelsea ahead with a sizzling finish! Loftus-Cheek celebrates with teammates. 84 min Rüdiger is down with what appears to be a thigh or groin problem. Chelsea have used all five substitutions, although they get a sixth if it goes into extra time. 85 min Meanwhile, Palace bring on Luka Milivojevic for Cheikhou Kouyate. 82 min Chelsea make their fifth substitution with Thiago Silva replacing Andreas Christensen. 78 min: What a chance for Andersen! Olise's swinging corner from the right was helped by Ayew and looped over the far post towards the unmarked Andersen. Werner on the left side of the box scored the goal with a nice square pass to Mount, straight into the box. He took it well, escaping Andersen and opening his body to sidefoot the ball into the far post. 77 min Triple substitution for Chelsea: N'Golo Kante, Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku replace Jorginho, Mount and Havertz. 74 min Ayew plays a clever pass into the box for Zaha, who takes it away from the onrushing Mendy. The angle is too wide for a shot, so he hits a cross on the turn instead, and eventually the attack fizzles. 72 min Double change at Palace: Christian Benteke and Michael Olise replace James McArthur and Jeffrey Schlupp, so Patrick Vieira starts. #EmiratesFACup | #ITVFootball pic.twitter.com/aE0k2EBz2f - ITV Football (@itvfootball) April 17, 2022 It actually needed a distraction, not that Loftus-Cheek will care. After Mitchell gained possession, Havertz's cross from the right caught Guehi and bounced off the edge of the box. Loftus-Cheek ran for the ball, twisted his body and smashed in a shot that hit Andersen and went into the net. 69 min Chelsea suddenly has a bit of strut on. It's a long way from here for Palace, who have been in counterattack mode all afternoon. 67 min This is Loftus-Cheek's first goal for Chelsea in three years, it says here. 61 min: What a chance for Palace! Eze's swinging corner is narrowly missed by Kouyate, who mistimes his header attempt. Kouyate heads for goal. Photo Credit: James Williamson/AMA/Getty Images Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira speaks to Jordan Ayew before he comes on. 63 min Azpilicueta's dangerous cross is headed away by Andersen in the six-yard space. 60' Zaha smashes Christensen down the right flank and angles in a deep cross that Azpilicueta finds in behind. 60 min "This," says Ian Copestake, "could go on forever." 59 min Chelsea completely dominate possession with around 70 percent of the game, but have yet to create a clear chance. It was a game of attrition. 56 mins It looks like Palace have switched to a 3-4-3, with Ayew on the right, Eze on the left and Zaha as the only striker. 53 min A Palace free-kick is headed into the air by Kouyate and brought under the bar by Mendy. 51 min Loftus-Cheek takes a return ball from Jorginho and stabs a clever through ball at Werner, who is loosened from the ball by Kouyate in the six yard box. 48 min Chelsea picked up where they left off at half-time, moving the ball from side to side to create an opening. 38 min Havertz is booked for diving in the Crystal Palace area after a challenge from Guehi. Chelsea wanted a penalty but replays showed it was a brilliant and brave decision from Taylor. Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images Photo: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Photo: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian "If Chelsea is the designated home team," asks Gary Byrne (and others), "why are they wearing yellow?" I don't have any Idea. Related: If Cup loss to Palace ends Abramovich era, what will he leave behind at Chelsea? An uneventful half comes to an end. Chelsea dominated possession but Palace came closest to scoring when Cheikhou Kouyate's volley was knocked aside by Edouard Mendy. 45 min Two minutes are added. 42 min More importantly for Palace, they looked really solid defensively at this point. 40 min There were some promising breaks from Palace, usually involving Zaha, but their last pass was either ill-considered or poorly executed. 39 mins "In last year's Tactics final, Tom did similar things with James at centre-back to counter Vardy's threat and that didn't work," says Yash Gupta. “In addition, this change of position on the right side of Chelsea took away the attacking momentum. If anything, Palace have a good chance." 38 min "That," says Joe Pearson, "isn't nearly as fun as yesterday's semi." 36 min Zaha is fouled by James on the left wing, sending Palace chasing his centre-backs can send in front. Eze's inswinger is headed to the edge of the box by Christensen and Kouyate lands a crisp volley, which is pushed away by Mendy and dives to the left. 33 min Mount shoots over the bar from the edge of the D. Chelsea are struggling to break through this well organized Palace defence. 30 min Palace breaks dangerously after a Chelsea corner. Zaha slips Loftus-Cheek on the halfway line, forcing last man Christensen to come over and intercept. 31 mins At the other end, Werner overtakes Kouyate and circles a very deep cross to Azpilicueta, who slices a scissor jab miles wide. 23 min Ruben Loftus-Cheek gets ready to come on as a substitute. It looks like he will replace Mateo Kovacic who has a slight limp. I think he twisted a bit when he slipped on the edge of the palace area earlier in the game. 25 minutes Rüdiger's hopeful ball into the penalty area is routed directly to Butland by Havertz. 21 min Not much to report. A lot of effort on both sides, but no clear chances yet. 17 min The game has settled into the expected pattern of Chelsea possession and Palace counter-attacks. 15 min James' inswing corner is headed away by McArthur. 14 min Havertz releases Werner on the left in the penalty area. His cutback is put behind by McArthur, the first of the game, for the corner... 11 min Kovacic runs dangerously close to the D-limit, but then slips. Chelsea begin to dominate possession. 10' Mount's cross shot from the left jumps awkwardly in front of Butland, who still holds on comfortably. 9 min Patrick Vieira will be happy with this start. Palace have been comfortable with no signs of nervousness in big games. 7 min Zaha turns James around near the halfway line and deflects a good pass towards Mateta who almost gets the wrong side of last man Christensen. In the end, Christensen recovers to pin the ball back to Mendy. 2 min Palace's formation is 3-3-2-2 as shown below. As expected, Chelsea play 3-4-1-2. 4 min A small game start, including a short game break while some balloons are cleared from the field. Crystal Palace's Eberechi Eze in action with Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic. 5 min Chelsea actually play with Reece James as a central defender on the right flank and Azpilicueta as a full-back. That could be because Wilfried Zaha plays up front for Palace; James has always done well against him. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel hugs Crystal Palace manager Patrick Viira. Photo: Michael Regan/The FA/Getty Images Photo: Michael Regan/The FA/Getty Images 1 min Peep peep! Palace, wearing their red and blue home kit, will line up from left to right. Chelsea wear their stylish yellow away kit. And it actually looks like a back three for Palace. There is some speculation that Palace will also play a back three, with Cheikhou Kouyate dropping into defence. "I thought Palace would have done well to keep it 0-0," says Ian Copestake, "but then I realized it hadn't started yet." "It's good [right after the loss to Real Madrid another great game to have] as it will automatically sharpen your mind and focus. Being here at Wembley is the right opportunity to turn things around. [Romelu Lukaku] is not fit enough to play 90 minutes, he is not fit enough for the intensity of our game. He's had an injury so his match fitness isn't there; Otherwise there would have been a good chance that he would have started today. We have put in two very good performances in our last two games. It's a difficult team and a big occasion.” “It's wonderful to be here. It's a big day for the football club - the fans, the players, the staff - and we want to enjoy it. The best way to do that is to perform as well as possible. I was really happy with the way [Eze] played against Leicester. He might not give us the runs like Conor, but he's really good on the ball; he can create chances, he can dribble. “It's about performing as a team. We have to enjoy the occasion.” Three changes from Chelsea after the 2-3 win/5-4 defeat in Madrid. Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho and Andreas Christensen replace Ruben Loftus-Cheek, N'Golo Kante and Thiago Silva. Patrick Vieira makes four changes from the Palace side who lost 2-1 at Leicester last weekend. Jack Butland, Joel Ward, James McArthur and Eberechi Eze are replacing Vicente Guaita, Nathaniel Clyne, the ineligible Conor Gallagher and Jordan Ayew. COME ON PALACE#CPFC | #EmiratesFACup - Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) April 17, 2022 Related: If Cup loss to Palace ends Abramovich era, what will he leave behind for Chelsea? | Jonathan Wilson This is a really interesting article about the guy behind the guy at the Palace. Hello and welcome to the live coverage of the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Wembley. Chelsea hope to reach their 11th FA Cup final since the turn of the century; Palace are aiming for the third FA Cup final in their entire history. Palace will be without the contagious Conor Gallagher, whose parents won't let him out to play tonight. Oh, and they've lost their last nine games to Chelsea. But for all my frankly inappropriate doom and gloom, Palace will see the chance of an upset. They are in good form, have caused problems for some big clubs this season and have an outside chance of claiming their highest league spot since the glorious 1990/91 season. An appearance in the FA Cup final would cap an excellent first season under Patrick Vieira. Chelsea want a repeat of the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool, ideally without Kepa smashing the crucial penalty midway to Harlesden. Palace will hope that Chelsea's emotional Champions League defeat by Real Madrid took a lot out of them. Also read: Tuchel urges Lukaku to jump at chance when Chelsea call him at Wembley

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FA Cup result, match stream and latest updates today

Chelsea FC 2-0 Crystal Palace LIVE! Mount Goal - FA Cup Result, Match Stream and Latest Updates Today - (Author: Gardener)

FA CupRuben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount secured Chelsea a place in their third straight FA Cup final on Easter Sunday. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount secured Chelsea a place in their third straight FA Cup final on Easter Sunday. Loftus-Cheek's thunderclap finish yanked the Blues out of a sluggish performance into a 16th FA Cup final, with Mason Mount's angled effort sealing the deal. Loftus-Cheek's thunderclap finish yanked the Blues out of a sluggish performance into a 16th FA Cup final, with Mason Mount's angled effort sealing the deal. England midfielder Loftus-Cheek spent the 2017/18 season on loan with the Eagles, even blazing his way to the World Cup after his season at Selhurst Park. England midfielder Loftus-Cheek spent the 2017/18 season on loan with the Eagles, even blazing his way to the World Cup after his season at Selhurst Park. Loftus-Cheek's first Chelsea goal since the 1-1 Europa League draw with Eintracht Frankfurt on 9 May 2019 spurred the Blues to overcome their apparent fatigue and advance to another final. Loftus-Cheek's first Chelsea goal since the 1-1 Europa League draw with Eintracht Frankfurt on 9 May 2019 spurred the Blues to overcome their apparent fatigue and advance to another final. Chelsea relinquished their Champions League crown despite beating Real Madrid 3-2 at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night, leaving the European stage just 5-4 on aggregate and after extra time. Chelsea relinquished their Champions League crown despite beating Real Madrid 3-2 at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night, leaving the European stage just 5-4 on aggregate and after extra time. That fourth overtime in a tough season took its clear toll as Chelsea struggled to meet their usual rigors against Patrick Vieira's well-organized and talented Eagles. That fourth overtime in a tough season took its clear toll as Chelsea struggled to meet their usual rigors against Patrick Vieira's well-organized and talented Eagles. However, just as Vieira's men threatened surprise, Loftus-Cheek emerged with a powerful punch. However, just as Vieira's men threatened surprise, Loftus-Cheek emerged with a powerful punch. Chelsea's nerves finally settled, Mount quickly grabbed Timo Werner's inside ball and shot home to end the contest. Chelsea's nerves finally settled, Mount quickly grabbed Timo Werner's inside ball and shot home to end the contest. Loftus-Cheek excelled in a hybrid role, mixing right-back and midfield in Chelsea's 6-0 win over Southampton and that boastful victory in Madrid. Loftus-Cheek excelled in a hybrid role, mixing right-back and midfield in Chelsea's 6-0 win over Southampton and that boastful victory in Madrid. But at Wembley, the Chelsea academy graduate was forced to spring into action in defensive midfield after Mateo Kovacic picked up an ankle problem in the early substitutions. But at Wembley, the Chelsea academy graduate was forced to spring into action in defensive midfield after Mateo Kovacic picked up an ankle problem in the early substitutions. And that opportunistic finish showed another side of his talent for a man who suffered a nasty torn Achilles tendon in a friendly at New England Revolution in Boston on May 16, 2019. And that opportunistic finish showed another side of his talent for a man who suffered a nasty hamstring tear in a friendly at New England Revolution in Boston on May 16, 2019. Loftus-Cheek only started hitting his full straps again this season after undergoing surgery to repair his Achilles tendon and the resulting back problems. His decisive goal here certainly deserves to be seen as a major turning point in his Stamford Bridge career. His decisive goal here certainly deserves to be seen as a major turning point in his Stamford Bridge career. Chelsea's midweek heroics took a significant toll on the sluggish Blues, who failed to push the pace or rhythm in a choppy first half. Chelsea's midweek heroics took a significant toll on the sluggish Blues, who failed to push the pace or rhythm in a choppy first half. Thomas Tuchel's men just didn't move the ball fast or crisply enough for Palace to knock them out with regimented defense and relatively high pressing. Thomas Tuchel's men just didn't move the ball fast or crisply enough for Palace to knock them out with regimented defense and relatively high pressing. The Eagles actually had the best chance of the half when Cheikhou Kouyate's volley forced Edouard Mendy into a fine save. The Eagles actually had the best chance of the half when Cheikhou Kouyate's volley forced Edouard Mendy into a fine save. Kai Havertz was booked for a glaring leap into Chelsea's half-time low, the German striker plunging in anticipation of a challenge from Marc Guehi that never came. Kai Havertz was booked for a glaring leap into Chelsea's half-time low, the German striker plunging in anticipation of a challenge from Marc Guehi that never came. Werner should have opened the second half with at least a shot on target but was slowed down by Kouyate when he was sent on target by Loftus-Cheek's pass. Werner should have opened the second half with at least a shot on target but was slowed down by Kouyate when he was sent on target by Loftus-Cheek's pass. Chelsea couldn't build on that opening, however, and Kouyate nodded a wrong-post corner after Wilfried Zaha turned Andreas Christensen inside out. Chelsea couldn't build on that opening, however, and Kouyate nodded a wrong-post corner after Wilfried Zaha turned Andreas Christensen inside out. The Blues needed to pull something out of thin air, and Loftus-Cheek's thundering punch certainly appeared out of precious loose change. The Blues needed to pull something out of thin air, and Loftus-Cheek's thundering punch certainly appeared out of precious loose change. Tyrick Mitchell was robbed deep in his own half and Chelsea refused to squander that gift of possession. Tyrick Mitchell was robbed deep in his own half and Chelsea refused to squander that gift of possession. Havertz's deflected cross fell friendly to Loftus-Cheek and he whipped home. Havertz's deflected cross fell friendly to Loftus-Cheek and he whipped home. Mount quickly doubled Chelsea's lead with a fine angled finish into the corner of the net to end the tie and cement the Blues' path to another FA Cup final. Mount quickly doubled Chelsea's lead with a fine angled finish into the corner of the net to end the tie and cement the Blues' path to another FA Cup final. Substitute striker Romelu Lukaku hit a post from point-blank range after Werner's pass, but the miss didn't matter at the time. Substitute striker Romelu Lukaku hit a post from point-blank range after Werner's pass, but the miss didn't matter at the time. 16:18 , Jonathan Gorrie The race to buy Roman Abramovich's Chelsea is now between three competing bidders after final bids were presented by US commercial bank Raine Group, which is responsible for the sale. Earlier Friday, news broke that the consortium, led by Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family and backed by American billionaires Ken Griffin and Dan Gilbert, had pulled out of the four-horse race to compete at Stamford Bridge to take over. "The Ricketts-Griffin-Gilbert group has decided, after careful consideration, not to make a definitive bid for Chelsea FC," read an official statement. "We have great admiration for Chelsea and its fans and wish the new owners well. ' 15:59 , Jonathan Gorrie When Crystal Palace leaves Wembley Stadium on Sunday, those wearing red and blue ties in the director's box can feel a great satisfaction at a job well done. The two-year FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea is the reward for preparing and then executing their plan to transform the south London club. Palace have a new name under Patrick Vieira and hope for the future. They're confident of contributing to a bad week for Chelsea - but it's been a long road to this point. In 2020, during the first lockdown, Palace chairman Steve Parish and sporting director Dougie Freedman used football's closure to reassess and look ahead. Together they decided it was time for the club to move on. Roy Hodgson had brought some much-needed stability after Palace returned to short-term policy after abandoning the Frank de Boer experiment, but fans had grown weary of his pragmatic style, Palace had an aging squad and it was requires a change to take it to the next level. Parish has long wanted to move forward, but the time they had to allocate when the pandemic began accelerated the first phase of the transformation. A decision was taken to halt new contracts for older players as their high wage costs limit their ability to move into the transfer market. You can read Jack Rosser's full report here. 15:08 , Jonathan Gorrie Thomas Tuchel has apologized to Conor Gallagher after Chelsea rejected a request from Crystal Palace to allow the midfielder to play at Wembley on Sunday. Gallagher is ineligible to face his parent club in the FA Cup semi-finals due to an agreement in his loan deal at Palace, who has revealed he has spoken to Gallagher about the decision and said he can understand his frustration. You can read Tuchel's full comments here. 14:59 , Jonathan Gorrie Jack Butland has backed Wilfried Zaha to host a show at Wembley and Chelsea have warned Crystal Palace is a force to be reckoned with under Patrick Vieira. The Eagles meet Thomas Tuchel's European champion in the FA Cup semifinals on Sunday. Vieira has turned Palace into a side to rival the best and they've beaten Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal this season. Zaha has already scored more goals this season (12) than in any season in his second spell at Palace and Butland says the Ivory Coast international will be ready for the big event this weekend. You can read Butland's full comments here. 14:42 Matt Verri Chelsea will have expended a great deal of energy during his epic but ultimately unsuccessful comeback bid in Madrid, leaving Palace with a real chance of reaching the final in May. Tuchel will need to keep things fresh to stave off exhaustion against a Palace side full of tricks and quick attacking flair led by Wilfried Zaha but without the diligence and cunning of Gallagher will require extra time. 2:31pm, Matt Verri Palace is still awaiting the fitness of Tyrick Mitchell (calf) and Michael Olise (foot) with both players available for individual training ahead of Sunday's game. But Vieira has warned he will not risk either key player unless they are 100 per cent fit and ready to perform. Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher is ineligible to play against his parent club after a request from Palace to allow him to play was denied. 14:21 , Matt Verri Romelu Lukaku should be fit for Chelsea after returning to training after suffering an Achilles injury that saw him sidelined for the midweek trip to Madrid. 14:04 , Matt Verri Hello and welcome to Standard Sport's LIVE coverage of Chelsea v Crystal Palace at Wembley! It is the second FA Cup semi-final as the two London clubs compete for the right to face Liverpool in next month's final. We'll have the latest updates and team news ahead of kick-off at 4:30pm BST.

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FA Cup latest results and goal updates from the semi-finals

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace LIVE: Latest FA Cup results and goals from the semi-finals - Follow the team news and latest updates from the second semi-final at Wembley (Author: Gardener)

FA CupChelsea vs Crystal Palace LIVE: FA Cup latest results and goal updates from the semi-finals Chelsea and Crystal Palace meet in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday afternoon, with both sides knowing that Liverpool themselves are lying in wait in the final. The Blues edged out Chesterfield, Plymouth, Luton and Middlesbrough to reach the last four. This is the first time they have faced top-flight opponents during the FA Cup campaign. It's the second time for the Eagles, beating Millwall, Hartlepool and Stoke in the preliminary rounds before beating Everton in the quarter-finals last month. On the opening day of the season, the two clubs met in Patrick Vieira's first game in charge of the Palace; Chelsea won that day with ease but February's second leg was a much closer affair, Hakim Ziyech scoring a last-minute winner - the only loss in 11 for the Eagles until last weekend's defeat at Leicester. Follow the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Crystal Palace below: 36' - Kouyate forces Mendy to make an intelligent save in quiet first half 17:48 , Dylan Terry 59 mins: Feels a bit like both Teams have been sedated since arriving at Wembley this afternoon. Can anyone confirm that this is indeed an Emirates FA Cup semi-final and not an Emirates Cup clash? Chelsea continue to play the ball without any intensity or threat. 17:46 , Dylan Terry 57 mins: Palace will be happy with the way the game has gone so far but ultimately they will have to try to score themselves. Either that or they take their chances with penalties. Chelsea are dominating the ball now so Palace need to counter them with something that keeps Thomas Tuchel's back line busy. 17:44, Dylan Terry 55 min: Here comes the change for Palace. 17:42, Dylan Terry 53 mins: Rudiger tries his luck with a bold effort from 35 yards but it's a mile from the Palace goal. Jordan Ayew prepares to come on as a substitute while Vieira blinks first with the tactical changes. 17:42, Dylan Terry 51 mins: Chelsea's best move of the game. After a few minutes of build-up play by the Blues, it's Loftus-Cheek who delivers the killer pass for Werner. The German charges between Andersen and Kouyate but the latter does just enough to put him off the ball and Butland is able to collect himself. VAR considered a shove at Werner from Kouyate but nothing came of it. 17:39 , Dylan Terry 49 mins: Chelsea's prolonged possession comes to nothing as Ward takes the ball out of play for a throw-in. Chelsea reinvestigate as Werner and Havertz deftly connect before Mount tries his luck from afar, picking out a couple of fans several rows above goal. 17:37, Dylan Terry 48 mins: Chelsea start with the front foot as they pin Crystal Palace in their own half. The Eagles must have one touch of the ball three minutes into the second half. 17:35, Dylan Terry 46 min: Here we go. 17:29 , Dylan Terry Second half coming in a few minutes. 17:25 , Dylan Terry Best chance of the half as Kouyate forces a save from Mendy before Andersen is ruled offside from the rebound. 17:19 , Dylan Terry Half Time: Well if yesterday's semi final was a nice three course meal, this was more of a £3 meal. Very few chances in the 45 minutes as Crystal Palace successfully nullified the creativity of the Chelsea side. The best opportunity came from Palace midfielder Kouyate, whose sweet volley was saved by Edouard Mendy. Chelsea, on the other hand, have offered next to nothing. 17:17, Dylan Terry 45 minutes: There will be two minutes of stoppage time. 17:15, Dylan Terry 44 minutes: Christensen fouls Zaha on the halfway line and Chelsea's brief period of pressure ends with a free-kick for Palace. You feel that this game will almost certainly be decided by a single goal. 17:13, Dylan Terry 42 mins: Jorginho slides a ball into the full-back for Mount, but Guehi clears, winning a throw-in for his team. Everything is a bit frustrating for Chelsea at the moment. 17:12 , Dylan Terry 40 mins: Eze struggles through a couple of midfield challenges and Zaha is being worked out down the left, but Azpilicueta and James are doing enough to take care of the danger. Palace feel they have the upper hand first half draws to a close. 17:10, Dylan Terry 38 min: Oh, that's shameful of Havertz. The German gallops into the box and goes down after jumping over Guehi. 17:09, Dylan Terry 38 minutes: Chelsea have been warned. It was the game's best opportunity and it fell to a Palace shirt.Thomas Tuchel will want to see more of his own side in the last third. 17:08, Dylan Terry 36 minutes: BEST CHANCE OF THE GAME! Eze sends the free-kick from the other end and when Christensen heads it to the edge, Kouyate volleys it on target but Mendy comes down deftly to parry it. Andersen backs it off with a try of his own, which Mendy is equal to, but the Palace man was ruled offside anyway. 17:07, Dylan Terry 36 mins: Schulpp and Mateta double down on Jorginho and snatch the ball from him midway in the Chelsea half. Schlupp immediately tries to slide through Zaha, but Rudiger cuts off. However, Chelsea are still a bit disorganized here and Palace deserve a free-kick which Eze tries to send into the box. 17:05, Dylan Terry 34 mins: Chelsea are looking for a way through this stubborn Palace defense. Jorginho tries to find Azpilicueta far out, but Schlupp quickly comes over to hack it away from danger. Chelsea then work their way into a decent area as Jorginho lays it down for Mount on the edge of the box... 17:02, Dylan Terry 31 mins: Werner does it superbly down the left as he passes Ward before heading in for a cross sends the back post for Azpilicueta. The Spaniard is there but barely makes contact with the ball as he harmlessly slices it away for a goal kick. The game is finally getting a little hotter now. 17:00, Dylan Terry 30 minutes: Andersen intercepts another through ball in the direction of Werner. This time he can only turn it to Chelsea for a corner. James sends it into the box and Ward drives it back for another corner. Take two, Mr James. It's coming again and this time it's Zaha scooping it away. Palace then tries to break, but the pass to the charging Zaha is too far in front of him. 16:59 , Dylan Terry 28 min: A look at the goal! Eze slides the central free-kick over the Chelsea high line and for a moment it looks like Andersen will score, but Mendy gets there just in front of the centre-back. 16:58 , Dylan Terry 28 min: The Palace fans in Wembley with a fine voice. The Chelsea midfielder needs to be a bit careful, that's a couple of free kicks he's already awarded. 16:57, Dylan Terry 26 min.: Kovacic does not last half an hour. 16:56, Dylan Terry 25 mins: Rudiger slices a ball towards Havertz and the German gets to the ball head first, but he goes tamely into Butland's arms. Kovacic is now down and will be replaced soon. 16:55 , Dylan Terry 24 mins: That's interesting. Maybe for Kovacic, who doesn't move particularly freely. Meanwhile, Chelsea enjoy another long period of possession but fail to really break into the Palace half. 16:53, Dylan Terry 22 mins: Referee Anthony Taylor hops over the ball as Eze tries to launch a Palace attack with a wide pass to Zaha. However, Mount is strong in sending it for a throw. Yes the referee dummy is up there with the most exciting moments of this game as we break the first half mark. 16:51 , Dylan Terry 20 mins: Jorginho tries to slice a deep ball towards Azpilicueta, who rushes in from the right, but the Italy international has a little too much and Butland watches as he drifts away for a goal kick. Patrick Vieira will be delighted with how little joy Chelsea have had in the final third so far. 16:49, Dylan Terry 18 mins: A poor touch from Werner goes out for a Palace shot as a cautious build-up by Chelsea comes to a disappointing end. A tentative opening 18 minutes from both sides. 16:46, Dylan Terry 16 mins: McArthur heads the corner clear and Alonso's follow-up drifts tamely out of play for a goal kick. I'm still waiting for a real sight of the goal for both sides. 16:45, Dylan Terry 14 mins: James shoves a dangerous ball into Werner but Andersen snatches the ball off his heels and gets a hearty round of applause from Palace supporters. Havertz then finds Werner behind and the German's cut is put back behind the first corner kick of the semifinals. 16:43 , Dylan Terry 12 mins: A fierce battle early in this game. Kovacic goes down on the edge of Palace's box after a collision with Mateta but Anthony Taylor isn't interested. Eze is then knocked over by Jorginho and that will be a free kick. 16:41 , Dylan Terry 10 mins: Chelsea look vulnerable to the ball over the top. It was a busy 10-minute opening for the Dane. Mount tries to throw a tricky pass at Werner but Kouyate cuts it off. Mount then has a shot on target from long range, but it's a routine stop for Butland. 16:39, Dylan Terry 8 mins: Zaha shows excellent footwork to avoid a couple of chances before slotting in a nice ball for Mateta. The Palace striker appears to be a step ahead of Christensen before the Chelsea defender is back in front of him and erasing the threat. Energetic start but no real chances yet. 16:37 , Dylan Terry Rangers have edged out old firm rivals Celtic after extra time to secure their place in the Scottish Cup final. You will play Hearts for the trophy. 16:37, Dylan Terry 6 mins: Chelsea finally enjoy a spell with the ball but Ward eventually cuts it off as Palace fans roar their side's impressive start. 16:35, Dylan Terry 4 mins: Palace dominate the ball in the early stages here as Chelsea are content to fall into defensive form. We're spoiled with a shot from Conor Gallagher on the touchline. 16:33 , Dylan Terry 2 minutes: The game was stopped again by Anthony Taylor within the first 60 seconds due to the number of balloons left on the field. Palace defender Andersen slams a few with his studs before we get going again Eagles enjoy some early possession before trying to slot Joel Ward down the right, but Christensen comes across to clear. 16:30 , Dylan Terry 1 min: CLIMB! Crystal Palace open this FA Cup semi-final to an excited Wembley crowd. They were so excited that they delayed the start for a few seconds after throwing some balloons onto the field. But here we go. 16:28 , Dylan Terry The two teams are on the pitch. We are almost ready for the second FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. 16:25 , Dylan Terry A goal in the 115th minute of extra time gave Rangers a 2-1 win over old firm rivals Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-finals. 16:23 , Dylan Terry Chelsea are looking to reach their third consecutive FA Cup final after losing the previous two to Arsenal and Leicester. Meanwhile, Palace have only reached the final twice in their entire history. 16:21 , Dylan Terry So, just moments after the conclusion of the day's two Premier League games, we now turn our attention to the second FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Crystal Palace. What a delicious day of football! 16:16 , Dylan Terry Halftime in extra time in the Scottish Cup semi-finals and it's still clear between Celtic and Rangers. Only 15 minutes until we possibly see some penalty shootouts. 16:15 , Dylan Terry full-time: That's it! The spoils are shared after a vibrant game at the London Stadium. Burnley took the lead in the first half through a Wout Weghorst header before Maxwel Cornet missed the goal from the penalty spot as the visitors missed a golden chance to double their advantage. West Ham then equalized in the second period through Tomas Soucek. And the hosts should have won the game, but Mikhail Antonio missed a good opportunity late on. An exciting encounter with both sides getting away with a point. 16:12, Dylan Terry 90+2 minutes: Burnley is not satisfied with a point. They are now signing men up front as the moans of West Ham supporters echo around the stadium. 16:11 , Dylan Terry Bruno Guimaraes has scored again for Newcastle as Eddie Howe's side stole a win in injury time. 16:11 , Dylan Terry Nick Pope confidently comes out to claim a corner from West Ham. 4:10, Dylan Terry 90 mins: OH IT'S NICK POPE TO THE RESCUE AGAIN! West Ham break pace and Bowen shoves it into Antonio who is one on one with Nick Pope. 16:09, Dylan Terry 89 min: Now Burnley comes forward. 16:08, Dylan Terry 88 mins: OH WHAT A POPE SAVE! Issa Diop climbs highest to head towards the bottom corner, but Nick Pope scoops him away with an outrageous save to his right! 16:07, Dylan Terry 87 mins: West Ham break and Rice shoves it into Antonio on the edge of the box. 16:06, Dylan Terry 87 mins: Benrahma jumps the touchline but is only able to drag her back into the arms of Burnley keeper Nick Pope. Both sides could still win this. 16:05, Dylan Terry 86 minutes: Burnley tries to wreak havoc with a set piece of their own. Tarkowski nods and when West Ham are half clear it falls to Cornet but he snaps for the shot and it's way over the top. 16:04, Dylan Terry 84 mins: Bowen drives into the heart of the Burnley defense but Taylor gets his body over him to steal the ball away. However, West Ham are coming forward again. 16:01 , Dylan Terry 82 mins: Burnley enjoys a period of possession. 15:59 , Dylan Terry 80 min: Pablo Fornals replaces Manuel Lanzini. 15:59, Dylan Terry 79 minutes: SO CLOSE BURNLEY RESTORED THE LEAD! Cornet slices inside after a corner is half cleared and he pulls a shot just wide. Seconds earlier the ball bounced around on Fabianski but West Ham managed to scramble it away. 15:57, Dylan Terry 77 minutes: West Ham are back in front. Reis shoots and it falls on Lanzini, who comes off the field to try to pool it, but Pope and Tarkovsky do enough to deny him. 15:55 , Dylan Terry 75 min: Relief around the London Stadium. This goal has been a long time coming. What's left of Burnley? 15:54 , Dylan Terry 74 min: THE frustration is gone now! West Ham are balanced and it's Tomas Soucek. A free kick is sent into the penalty area and Soucek bundles it home from close range. 15:53 ​​​​, Dylan Terry Celtic and Rangers have gone into overtime in their Scottish Cup semi-finals. 30 minutes more from Old Firm in Hampden Park. 15:52, Dylan Terry 73 mins: West Ham are looking a little leggy here. Bowen trips Collins trying to chase a loose ball. 15:50, Dylan Terry 71 minutes: It has to be said that Burnley has defended bravely since taking the lead. West Ham had chances but Burnley mostly limited them to half-chances. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go. 15:49, Dylan Terry 69 mins: Rice finds Johnson in space on the right but his cross is cut out and eliminated by Taylor. Bodies on the line for Burnley as they desperately cling to that narrow advantage with 20 minutes to go. 15:47, Dylan Terry 67 mins: Oh, things are heating up a bit here! After Weghorst appears to catch Rice after the ball was gone, Rice then meets up with the Burnley forward and they exchange some not so nice words. Rice enters the book, as enemies Weghorst. 15:45, Dylan Terry 65 minutes: David Moyes flinches. 15:44 , Dylan Terry Burnley Break and Maxwel Cornet finds Jay Rodriguez on the edge of the box. He rolls an effort toward the top corner, but it's inches wide! Burnley is so close to doubling the advantage. 15:42, Dylan Terry 62 minutes: Connor Roberts came on for Lowton while Burnley made the second substitution of the afternoon. Rice charges forward immediately after the restart and forces a corner. It's flipper in the Burnley penalty area from the set piece before Soucek is offside and the guests can breathe a sigh of relief. 15:40, Dylan Terry 61 mins: Cresswell swings it in and Rice has a free header but can only plant it a few yards. should have done better 15:40, Dylan Terry 60 mins: Lowton fouls Vlasic just outside the area. It's on the left, so Cresswell will take that one. Good opportunity for West Ham to load the box here. 15:38, Dylan Terry 58 mins: Vlasic plants another cross on Antonio's head, but it's a tame finish and Pope is able to collect himself easily. Surely Burnley can't last another 30 minutes like this?! 15:37 , Dylan Terry Scott Arfield has equalized for Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic. All Square in the Old Firm. 15:37, Dylan Terry 56 mins: Cresswell with a low cross that's clearly chopped by Tarkowski. It's then thrown back and Antonio's header for Bowen misses by inches! 15:34, Dylan Terry 54 mins: Lanzini is growing into this game on the left. He sends another dangerous ball for Bowen but it goes just over the England striker's head. 15:32 , Dylan Terry 52 mins: Lanzini drives to the front and picks out Rice who ran into the canal. West Ham eventually make it to Creswell but his delivery is punched clear by Pope. The Burnley goalkeeper hasn't made a single mistake today. 15:30, Dylan Terry 50 mins: Rodriguez finds McNeil on the right but he then plays a shocking ball all the way back to Bowen down the center line! West Ham break and Vlasic saves a ball for Soucek behind the post, but the Czech midfielder can only deflect it past the knee from six yards out. 15:27 , Dylan Terry 47 minutes: West Ham started the second half the way they ended the first - dominating possession. Aside from Pope's save against Bowen, the hosts struggled to create too many chances in the path of the clean cut. 15:26 , Dylan Terry Greg Taylor put Celtic ahead against Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-finals. Huge goal in the Old Firm derby. 15:25, Dylan Terry 46 min: We're on the road again at the London Stadium! 15:22 , Dylan Terry Second half to come. Burnley are 45 minutes away from what would be a mammoth three points in their fight to avoid relegation. 15:18 , Dylan Terry Elsewhere, Newcastle and Leicester are 1-1 after 45 minutes at St James' Park. Ademola Lookman put the visitors ahead early with a low drive finish from inside the box. But Bruno Guimaraes stabbed home the equalizer from close range after a VAR check confirmed he had not fouled Kasper Schmeichel. 15:16 , Dylan Terry This stat will no doubt surprise you all, especially if you've seen Wout Weghorst's greatness.1 - Wout Weghorst has scored his first header goal in the league in 35 games (13 for Burnley, 22 for VfL Wolfsburg) and thus his first since the goal against VfB Stuttgart in April 2021 for Wolfsburg. Surprised. — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 17, 2022 3:11pm Dylan Terry Halftime: The referee blew the whistle to end the first half and it was an eventful one. Burnley man Ashley Westwood was sidelined just before being substituted 30 minutes after suffering a serious leg injury in a clash with Vlasic. Moments after the restart, Wout Weghorst gave the visitors the lead with a close-range header after Rodriguez's first attempt came off the bar. Burnley then got the perfect shot to double their lead when Fabianski brought down Cornet. But Cornet sent his penalty wide of the post. All meaning Burnley led 1-0 at break. 15:09, Dylan Terry 45+9 minutes: David Moyes doesn't look like a happy man. West Ham dominated most of the first 45 (54) minutes but they should be 2-0 down if Cornet's penalty misses - rather strange first period which is coming to an end any second now. 15:08, Dylan Terry 45+7 mins: Soucek connects cleanly with Vlasic, but the Croatian is then stopped by Collins as he tried to charge into the penalty area. West Ham finish the half strong as they look for an equaliser. 15:06, Dylan Terry 45+5 mins: Burnley with a chance to put the ball inside the box from a free kick after Dawson climbed over Rodriguez trying to head the ball clear. He gets whipped and reaches Weghorst behind post but he can't dig it out and West Ham get it away. 15:04 , Dylan Terry 45+3 min: Michail Antonio is now injured. However, it looks like he's moving on. What a disappointment for West Ham. Hell penalty corner. 15:03 , Dylan Terry There are nine minutes of added time at the end of the half for this Ashley Westwood injury. 15:03 , Dylan Terry Maxwell Cornet stutters, sends Fabianski the wrong way but then drags his penalty wide of the target! 15:01, Dylan Terry 45 minutes: Suddenly Burnley breaks through after a corner and Cornet is one on one with Fabianski! He takes the ball around the West Ham keeper and is brought down. Stonewall spot kick. 15:01, Dylan Terry 45 mins: Bowen nods the ball away from Taylor and finds Antonio in the box but his spin and shot lands on row G of a Burnley leg. 14:59, Dylan Terry 43 mins: Burnley only takes control of the ball for a few minutes here as they try to see the first half. However, West Ham wins him back and the spectators at the London Stadium wake them up as they look for a strong end of the first period. Vlasic finds Johnson at the back post but his shot goes a good 10 yards wide of the right post. 14:56, Dylan Terry 40 mins: McNeil finds Cornet at the back post and he forces a corner from Johnson. It's swung into the back post but guided clearly by Creswell. 14:55, Dylan Terry 38 minutes: West Ham look a bit stunned after this goal. 14:53 , Dylan Terry 36 mins: Burnley are now just a point behind Everton in their battle to avoid relegation. At least that's what it looks like. West Ham dominated the game prior to Westwood's serious injury but are now behind. 14:52 , Dylan Terry Celtic and Rangers are goalless at half-time in their Scottish Cup semi-finals. 14:50, Dylan Terry 33 minutes: GOAL! Immediately after the restart and Burnley have broken the blockade. A cross came out of a corner from Maxwel Cornet and after Jay Rodriguez's first header crashed off the bar, Wout Weghorst climbed highest to nod the rebound home. Against the course of the game the guests are ahead! 14:49 , Dylan Terry 33 mins: Josh Brownhill came on for Burnley as Ashley Westwood managed a smile as he was taken off the field. Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website. More from The Independent

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Fulham's promotion to the Premier League will underscore the EFL's parachute problem

It used to be that when a club was relegated from the Premier League, the most talented players were picked from those above them. Teams were forced to sell their most prized assets to cover the cost of the sinking. (Author: Gardener)

the Premier LeagueFulham FC are poised to return to the Premier League after just one season. With just three games left, the west Londoners are, as they have been for most of the season, well ahead of the rest of the field. Should Monday's results go in Fulham's direction, promotion will be confirmed. If they don't, they have the option to do it themselves against Preston North End the following night. Prudently, manager Marco Silva has downplayed talk of the club breaking records or making plans for life in the top flight, despite both being close quarters. He was also forced to address a somewhat unusual topic for a potential title winner; the notion that everything was a bit easy. "This is the league, nothing is guaranteed," said the Portuguese coach, "so I have to congratulate my players every time [they win a game]. "It's not easy to have that kind of mentality every time, to be reckless at the right moments. But the reality is some Fulham players at times looked a notch above the rest of the division. Alexander Mitrovic has scored a remarkable 38 goals this season, beating Brentford's Ivan Toney's record last year. The Serb's goal tally has put him on the shortlist for EFL Player of the Season alongside strike partner Harry Wilson. Fulham's other outstanding attacker, Fabio Carvalho, is the front-runner for the Young Player of the Season award. Fulham's dominance in the Championship this year has a lot to do with the clubbing's ability to bolster their squad after being relegated from the Premier League. It used to be that when a club was relegated from the Premier League, the most talented players were picked from those above them. The wealth generated by staying in the Premier League offers such a huge benefit that it's difficult for others to match. Fulham's gallop to the title will be his third promotion in five years, making him the definition of the term 'yo-yo club' - too good for the division below but not at the level required for the tier up. The Whites are far from the only side occupying this space, historically there have been many clubs in the English pyramid trapped in an inter-league existence. What is worrying about the English game is that increasingly there is not just one yo-yo club at the top of the league, but several. Norwich City and Watford are both on a relegation course. If they are relegated, it will be the second time they have been relegated together after both successfully winning promotion last season. If they are relegated, Norwich will be four years between the two divisions. The way they have returned to the top flight each time is also a cause for concern. Norwich City's last two promotion seasons have been absolutely dominant. But after winning the league with ease, they endured an equally embarrassing relegation from the Premier League. The Canaries are not alone in this, Fulham's breeze to the EFL title comes from finishing 11 points clear of safety in the top flight. These are not teams that have just been relegated and are therefore much closer to the superior Premier League level. Fulham, Watford, Norwich City and indeed the other likely promotion contender this year, Bournemouth, have benefited from "parachute payments" - a percentage of Premier League broadcasting rights awarded by the top flight to relegated clubs to help them beat the mitigate downgrade. This three-year initiative will see relegated clubs receive 55% of their previous revenue in the first year, 45% in the second and, if the club was in the top division for more than one season before relegation, 20% in the third year. It's a concept based on sound principles as the revenue gap between the top flight and the lower division is so large that big teams need to be assisted in their downsizing. The problem is that as Premier League revenues have continued to grow exponentially, the parachute payment gives relegated clubs a significant advantage over their rivals. Instead of using the money for sensible long-term plans, teams can fund premium wages for longer or invest in talent like Fulham did. Research from Sheffield Hallam University released last month suggests the system has continued to 'distort' championship competition, finding clubs with parachute payments are three times more likely to be promoted than those without them. A key factor in this has been the average value of parachute payments for each club per season, which has increased significantly, from $16.7 million between 2006 and 2015 to $38.53 million over the past five years. In an interview with the Daily Mail about the study, one of the researchers, Dr. Rob Wilson said the current system is not only damaging to competition but is also causing financial problems for other clubs. "The payments are forcing other clubs to overextend themselves to keep up, leading to financial instability and the risk of bankruptcy," he said. The parachute money should be earmarked and more evenly distributed across the EFL.” Championship managers have pointed out that the study provides further evidence of what they have already clearly seen with their own eyes. "Something needs to be done about this because of the benefits it offers to clubs," Middlesborough manager Chris Wilder said. "I think when you looked at the start of the season anyone who knows the division would have said Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United would be big favorites to get back up, along with Bournemouth, who went down the season before. It's always a bit more than just money, but it's also a huge benefit." Wilder's calls to action are well received at the EFL, the view of the panel, which represents the three divisions below the top flight, is that parachute payments " are not a form of solidarity; They distort the financial ecosystem and widen the gap between the Championship and the Premier League.” And according to reports in British newspapers, talks are underway between the Premier League and the EFL to overhaul the system. Whether this is associated with the abolition of parachute payments is another matter. There would need to be Premier League approval to make the decision and clubs faced with the possibility of relegation are unlikely to vote to lift a key protection. Why would Fulham or Bournemouth reject a system that has allowed them to retain their best players and return to the Premier League quickly? But why would a side like Brentford, who had never been in the Premier League before this season, or Everton, who have never been relegated but are currently at risk of relegation? That's the problem with a gap so wide you need a parachute to get down safely.

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Both sides can commit at Ashton Gate

Sheffield United are looking to cement their position in the top six of the Championship when they travel to Bristol City on Easter Monday. Mark O'Haire picks his best bet. (Author: Gardener)

Ashton GateBristol City boss Nigel Pearson praised his players for showing exactly the reaction needed after asking his squad of players to show their character and personality on the pitch when they traveled to Stoke on Good Friday. The Robins won 1-0 against Jay Dasilva, the unlikely top scorer, when his cross went in the net with 10 minutes to go. City were determined on defense and frustrated the Potters with their tenacity as the Robins conceded just their second goal in 21 games. On any other day, the visitors could have improved their score if Antoine Semenyo had worn his shooting shoes, but Pearson was delighted with the effort his side put in in a rare away win. After the game, Pearson said: "We're talking about personalities and I think we showed it was a collective effort, a little bit rough, it had to be against a team that has quite a lot of quality. Sheffield United head coach Paul Heckingbottom described his side as "naïve" after watching the Blades concede an expensive injury-time win at home to little Reading on Good Friday, just minutes after conceding the equalizer in five minutes of injury-time the hosts instead scored an easy goal when Royals defender Tom McIntyre used Michael Morrison's nod from a free-kick to give the visitors a shock three-pointer in the most dramatic of circumstances at Bramall Lane. After the game, Heckingbottom said: “We knew they were going to be difficult to break and a threat on the counterattack and we had to be patient. Bristol City and Sheffield United have drawn just one in their last 17 league games since 2007/08, with the Blades dominating those head-to-head ties (S10-D1-N6). The Blades have also bagged top honors in four of their last seven trips to Ashton Gate (S4-D1-L2), winning the second leg 2-0. Good Friday's success at Stoke was just Bristol City's 4,507/2 second Championship win in nine games (W2-D2-L5), while only four clubs have suffered more league losses than the Robins (20) this season. Nigel Pearson's side returned W7-D7-L7 at Ashton Gate, although that record reduces to W2-D5-L6 if you exclude the bottom 10 of the table. The Blades have only had one straight league win since February, earning just W3-D3-L4 in their last 10 games. United have largely built their challenge on a strong record at Bramall Lane under the supervision of Paul Heckingbottom, amassing only W4-D3-L4 on the road. Bristol City's games this season have shown a respectable 3.00 goals per game - 26/42 (62%) games have paid for over 2.5 goals 1.8910/11 and 29/42 (69%) showed that both teams scored 1.824/5 winners. Those totals reduce in Ashton Gate Bar BTTS, which actually ramps up to an impressive 16/21 (76%) winrate here. The Robins have scored three of those 21 home fights at all bars and have recorded a paltry three shutouts themselves in front of their own supporters. With City's ability to play without pressure and untie the ties, a similarly open and entertaining game could ensue against a Sheffield United side who don't always impress away from home. Ten of Bristol City's 11 appearances with top-half teams have resulted in wins with both teams and I'm happy to follow the trends again as the Blades attempt to recover from the shock Good Friday defeat.

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