FA Cup
Expected more but Chelsea lacked rhythm and self-confidence, admits Thomas Tuchel
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In light of Chelsea’s slim 1-0 win over Barnsley in the FA Cup, Thomas Tuchel believes that his side should have done a lot more but added that they lacked self-confidence and rhythm. The Blues are through into the next round of the tournament and continued their unbeaten run under Tuchel.After a dire first half of football where Chelsea struggled to make any impact on the Barnsley side, Thomas Tuchel was forced into a double change to turn things around. That worked in their favour but even then, the Blues only managed a lacklustre 1-0 win over their FA Cup opponents. While they have progressed into the next round, it has seen fans concerned about their side’s struggle to score goals.While things have changed under Tuchel, with Chelsea on a five-game unbeaten run across all competitions since he joined, the Blues have struggled to find the net with just seven goals in five matches. It saw Tuchel admit that he believes they can play better and “expected more” from them. But the German coach further added that he is not “frustrated” with the team and won’t be “too hard on the players”."We changed to a back four and took Marcos out for this tactical change. Andreas had to go out because he had a headache. The changes made it a little easier to get into the opponent's half and overcome the first press. We did it well at the start of the second half and played constantly in the opponent's half. We scored the goal and I had the feeling that they increased the risk but we stepped down in the little decisions," Tuchel told the BBC.“Not enough courage and it was too deep for a long, long time. We clearly can play better, so yes I expected more but not in terms that I am frustrated. If you lack a rhythm and a bit of self-confidence and you have to show on this pitch, against an opponent that takes all the risk and plays the game of his life, that is not easy. We can do better but I don't want to be too hard on the players."Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Barnsley 0-1 Chelsea Player Ratings: Abraham on target as Blues labour
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Chelsea laboured to a 1-0 FA Cup success over Barnsley away from home to set up a quarter-final with Sheffield United.A single goal from Tammy Abraham was the difference between the sides, with Chelsea struggling for penetration against their Championship opponents.Indeed, they managed only a single shot on target against a team they had more than 70% possession against. Nevertheless, the much-changed side progressed and will not play in the last eight on the weekend of 20th March.Barnsley 0-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player StatsHere’s how they fared at Oakwell. ✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCETammy Abraham: 7.4Of all Chelsea’s starting XI, Tammy Abraham saw the ball only more than Marcos Alonso, who was taken off at half-time. His performance, though, was not about volume, it was about two defining moments.The first was being at the right place at the right time to tap into an empty net after a surging run from Reece James. The second was about being at the right place at the right time to stretch every sinew in his neck to head over a goal-bound Barnsley effort.Completing just 58% of his passes, this was not a classy display, but it was a decisive one.Reece James: 7.6Introduced at half-time to bring a spark that the team was lacking, James amply delivered.It was his athletic run and cool head that allowed him to fashion the only goal of the game, while he completed 93% of his passes, including eight in the final third. He was a useful outlet and though he played only 45 minutes critical for the success of his team.❌ BAD PERFORMANCEHakim Ziyech: 5.2After failing to fire in the 0-0 draw against Wolves in Thomas Tuchel’s first match as Chelsea boss, the Morocco international has done his prospects of game time in the weeks ahead little good with his display against Barnsley.He did get four crosses into the box but did not complete a single dribble and had only one touch in the box. Moreover, he did not have any kind of shot and completed just 65% of his passes. ⭐ STAR MANKurt Zouma: 7.7It is fitting, given the flow of the tie, that a Chelsea defender finished with the highest rating. Although the Blues had much of the ball, they finished the match with their backs to the wall.As the ball came into the box, Zouma was a magnet for it. He won all six of his headers and completed six clearances. Moreover, he completed two interceptions and made one recovery. No player saw more of the ball than the centre-back, who touched it 125 times.Barnsley 0-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats .
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Mourinho’s defensive concerns worsen as Tottenham concede five
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Jose Mourinho was offered a reminder of the defensive worries that are undermining his Tottenham revolution as his team were knocked out of the FA Cup at Everton.Although Spurs managed four goals in a thrilling game that went to extra-time, they conceded five to see their cup run come to an end in the fifth round.It is the first time that has happened to a Mourinho team since January 2015, when Chelsea were beaten by a Mauricio Pochettino-managed Tottenham.Renowned as a master of defensive organisation, the Portuguese has struggled to bring that particular quality to north London.But he might well wonder whether he has the right tools to construct a mean defence, or whether some serious work in the transfer market is required.Toby Alderweireld was handed a new deal just a month after Mourinho arrived at Spurs, but it is possible that decision is already being regretted.The Belgian won just three of his nine duels for a Football Critic rating of 5.4 here as Tottenham were bullied aerially and struggled to get to grips with Everton's attack.Everton 5-4 Tottenham: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player StatsAlongside him, Davinson Sanchez provided two goals from set-pieces to help bump his FC rating up to a respectable 7.8, though he was far from defensively perfect.The Colombian won eight of his 12 duels and made four clearances but couldn't help Spurs keep the hosts at bay.Behind them, Hugo Lloris was perhaps a victim of some brilliant finishing, though he conceded as many goals as he made saves (5) and has faced questions over his reliability before. .
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Rodri concern taints Manchester City win over Swansea
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Manchester City cruised into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup as they claimed a 3-1 away win over Swansea City on Wednesday evening.But a night that saw Pep Guardiola's men claim a 15th consecutive victory in all competitions wasn't entirely defined by good news.The Spaniard was given major cause for concern in the 72nd minute when compatriot Rodri was forced off due to injury.The midfielder was seen limping down the Liberty Stadium tunnel after leaving the pitch, and looked in some discomfort.And that is particularly worrying in the aftermath of another performance that underlined his growing influence at City.Rodri earned a match-high Football Critic rating of 9.1 for his efforts against the Swans, with Kyle Walker (8.5) and Gabriel Jesus (8.0) his nearest competitors.The 24-year-old's rating owes much to his two assists, the first of them perhaps generously awarded in the aftermath of Kyle Walker's cross-cum-shot goal.The second, however, was a lovely threaded through ball for Raheem Sterling that summed up another good night.Swansea 1-3 Man City: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player StatsMore than that, though, Rodri completed a remarkable 99% of his 83 passes across 72 minutes as he helped City protext the ball in trademark style.He also won four of his seven duels and made five recoveries as part of an outstanding performance on both sides of the ball.Guardiola must hope his No.16 is not facing a prolonged period on the sidelines, with City sure to miss him given the way he has played in recent weeks. .
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Man Utd 1-0 West Ham Player Ratings: McTominay the hero, Van de Beek flops again
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Manchester United bounced back from their disappointing draw with Everton at the weekend by defeating West Ham 1-0 after extra time in the FA Cup fifth round at Old Trafford.Substitute Scott McTominay scored the winner in the first half of extra time as the Red Devils booked their place in the quarter-finals.Wonderkid Amad Diallo was named on the bench for the first-time since his big-money transfer from Atalanta last month, but did not see any game-time.Man Utd v West Ham: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player StatsSo which players stood out most?✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCEScott McTominay: 7.8The Scotsman came off the bench to replace Nemanja Matic after 73 minutes and proved to be Man Utd's ultimate hero on the night in extra time.He timed his run from deep to perfection as United launched a lightning-fast counter-attack. Without breaking stride, he fired home clinically from inside the area to break West Ham's resistance.McTominay now has an impressive six goals in all competitions for Man Utd this season, a more than decent return considering the position he plays in.Alex Telles: 7.7It has been a fascinating fight for the left-back shirt at Old Trafford this season between Alex Telles and Luke Shaw, and the Brazilian did his chances no harm on Tuesday.He was United's most available attacking outlet throughout the match, bombing up and down the left flank. He delivered an impressive 10 crosses in the normal 90 minutes alone and had over 100 touches. He was taken off as the game entered extra-time after really putting in the miles.❌ BAD PERFORMANCEAndriy Yarmolenko: 5.8Yarmolenko is having another miserable season in East London and has scored only one goal in all competitions.He made no impact once again versus Man Utd. He made no dribbles, created no chances and had just one attempted shot which was blocked. Worst of all, he only made five passes in his time on the pitch.It came as no surprise when he was hooked by manager David Moyes after 54 minutes.Donny van de Beek: 6.0Van de Beek continues to struggle to justify his big transfer fee and failed to make the most of his opportunity against West Ham.Given an opportunity from the start by Solskjaer, Van de Beek made little impact. He had no dribbles or crosses and made no chances as once again his lack of creativity was apparent.He attempted only one shot that was blocked before being subbed on 73 minutes.⭐ STAR MANFred: 8.0The Brazilian was everywhere and never stopped for the whole 120 minutes. He was involved in everything Man Utd did, making a game-high 154 touches.His passing was excellent as he boasted a 90 per cent pass completion rate - with 43 of these passes in the final third.He was also as tenacious as ever, winning nine duels and all of his aerial challenges. Man Utd v West Ham: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats .
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How Man City could line up against Swansea in the FA Cup
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Man City will be looking to keep their quadruple hopes alive and continue their stellar recent form when they take on Swansea in the FA Cup this week.Pep Guardiola's side are already in the League Cup final, while they have progressed in the Champions League and currently lead the Premier League.The match versus Championship side Swansea comes at a time when City are looking irresistible.Since the draw against West Brom in the middle of December, the Premier League leaders have won 14 matches in a row in all competitions.At the weekend, they secured a statement victory against Liverpool, humbling the defending league champions with a 4-1 away win.Though Guardiola will be keen to keep momentum going with progression in the FA Cup, there will be changes made as he keeps his stars fresh to fight on four fronts.Zack Steffen will likely be given a start in goal with Ederson dropping to the bench, while Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia, Benjamin Mendy, and Kyle Walker should return to the starting XI.Walker missed the game against Liverpool with injury, but is believed to be fit enough to feature in the cup.Fernandinho is a certain starter in midfield which will likely mean a rest for Ilkay Gundogan or Rodri, probably the latter.Phil Foden is almost undroppable at the moment so he will probably start to the left of Gabriel Jesus, with Ferran Torres coming in to replace Raheem Sterling.Sergio Aguero is back in training after his coronavirus isolation but is likely not match fit, though he could make an appearance from the bench.Nathan Ake and Kevin De Bruyne are continued absentees. .
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Pogba to miss out – How Manchester United could line up against West Ham
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Manchester United will likely be without Paul Pogba on Tuesday night as they aim for a spot in the last eight of the FA Cup when they host West Ham.The Frenchman was substituted just before half-time in the weekend’s 3-3 draw with Everton grasping his thigh and will almost certainly miss this cup tie. Fred replaced him at Old Trafford on the weekend and he will likely be the man to step into the starting XI in what will remain a largely strong Manchester United side. One likely change will come in goal, with Dean Henderson having started every game in either cup competition so far this season – there is no reason why that shouldn’t continue. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has impressed with a more attacking mentality from right-back and should continue there while it will likely be Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof at centre back with Eric Bailly still nursing an injury. There could be a change at left-back with Luke Shaw given a well-earned rest, allowing summer recruit Alex Telles to come in for what would be only a 14th appearance of the season. Scott McTominay was superb against Everton, adding a second Premier League goal in as many games, but having started four games in 13 days there could be an opportunity for Nemanja Matic at the base of midfield, alongside Fred in Pogba’s absence. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to have fallen upon a first-choice front four, which at the moment does not have Anthony Martial in it. The Frenchman could be given an opportunity in the cup here though, despite competition being rife among the attacking options. Bruno Fernandes should continue in the side along with Marcus Rashford, but the other two places are well and truly up for grabs. Mason Greenwood scored in the last round, of the cup, Martial scored two off the bench against Southampton, Cavani has had back-to-back league games with goals and Donny van de Beek has played both FA Cup ties from the beginning so far. Four of those must go into two spots, and they will likely go to Martial and van de Beek, with the cup games providing both the perfect opportunity for more minutes and the chance to play their way further into Solskjaer’s plans.Manchester United starting XI versus West Ham .
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